6/27 – Update #35

I’ll be getting my fourth and hopefully final (!!) thoracotomy late tomorrow morning. The procedure generally takes 3-5 hours, with a 4-7 day in-hospital recovery period. The last time I received a thoracotomy was in January, and before that in 2010. I’ve certainly been lucky this year with the scheduling of my surgeries; once in the middle of January, once at the very end of June, two sub-par birding times (at least when compared to May, September, etc).

To be truthful, I’m not looking forward to this surgery. I’d much rather be home, enjoying the time off from school, spending time with friends and conducting breeding bird surveys. Because of this, I’m going to work my hardest to try to get myself up to speed as fast as possible. I’m going to make sure to take frequent walks, eat and drink even when I don’t want to, and use my breathing device (all of these are easier said than done!). I’m going to aim for my fastest release time ever, which is not an easy thing after six major surgeries. We’ll see what happens, but I’m hoping that the week of July 1st (albeit late in that period) will see me birding again, even if it is just around the yard and neighborhood.

A few weeks after surgery, I’ll be starting a new treatment protocol, which sounds very promising. Although the surgery got in the way of some of my summer plans including Maine this coming week and the ABA’s Camp Colorado the week after, I’m hoping to still take a trip or two and prove to myself that cancer can’t get in the way of what I love to do.

Alright, that’s pretty much it. A non-birding update for those of you who still follow my treatment news on this site versus elsewhere. In case there’s any interest, I threw up a new poll at the right.


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7 Responses to 6/27 – Update #35

  1. Mary Ellen Clifton says:

    I love your photos – and will keep you in prayers for a successful surgery and recuperation.
    Mary Ellen (St. Paul’s)

  2. marcy klattenberg says:


    I wish you an especially fast recovery this time – you should be up to normal birding mode by migration later this summer – a cool goal to look forward to. Will send positive thoughts your way tomorrow. Keep up that amazing positive attitude – it and birding will get you through. Marcy

  3. Kathy Van Der Aue says:

    Our thoughts will be with you, Alex. Hope everything goes smoothly and that you’re back out there birding ASAP.

    Kathy VDA

  4. Donna Coughlin says:

    Be well, so many people enjoy your amazing posts (extraordinary photos and such clear writing, too), so you’ll have lot of good, healing wishes coming your way!

  5. Michael Corcoran says:


    We are all thinking of you buddy. Do what you have to do and get back at it!

    I’ve got another Blog for you, I think you’ll enjoy. http://www.dailywing.net/

    Best wishes for a quick recovery,


  6. anita bennett says:

    alex, your comments are inspirational , as is your spirit, so. sail through surgery with good results with all the many prayers being offered today especially for you. summer days are many and you will have lots of adventures to enjoy.

  7. Helen says:

    Alex, you are an inspiration to us all. I hope your surgery went well and that the worst is over. I pray for your recovery. Your spirit is wondrous and I am proud to be your virtual birding friend. –Best always, Helen

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