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The day when the operation was scheduled came around too quickly. I still had that niggling little doubt that it still might turn out to be malignant and that the operation might result in an acceleration and spreading of the malignancy. But the die was cast. Be it what it may, I will have to live through it.
Later I was told that the operation took much longer than expected and that this was a horrendous strain on my family. It seems they too were not quite sure that it was an abscess. It eventually was cleared up by the surgeon, who besides being an expert in that field, seemed to have been enjoying himself tremendously. Not only did he take out my gallbladder and the abscess, which actually turned out to be an abscess, but had cleaned up the surroundings of that abscess, so had to take out a chunk out of my liver. While wondering around in there, he saw that my appendix did not look too good, so out it came. Then wondering about some more, he saw that my intestines needed a bit of untangling, so he went ahead and did that as well. When later on I was told all that, I could just see him in cartoonish images, digging deep into my open stomach and coming up with different things, looking at them, not liking what he saw, and throwing it away as being of no use. It was a very amusing image.
When I was finally wheeled out, and to the great relief of my family, it was finally confirmed that it WAS an abscess.
My recovery was painful and rather slow, as my body had taken another rather hard beating. It took me another eleven days in hospital before I was considered well enough to be discharged and returned home.
Before that happened, my surgeon and family doctor had a consultation standing there each on one side of my bed, discussing my case with me lying there looking up at them. Then the surgeon said that he would like to take a look at the healing incision, then with a very theatrical gesture, invited our family doctor to go ahead and examine me. The family doctor declined and, being the gentleman that he was, inclined his head in appreciation. It was then that the surgeon said, go ahead, have a feel, it is all white, soft skin, have a feel. My doctor’s face turned beet red and I was nearly doubled up laughing at being the “dish” being offered up for the pleasure of my doctor, right there to my face!
I was finally discharged from the hospital, but never forgot that experience, especially those few days when my mortality was a very clear, very near fact. But I survived, and in time the sharpness of that feeling started to fade, and life took over once again.
Another beginning.

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