Monday, September 12, 2011

My Decision Has Been Made

On Friday I met with a surgeon, Dr. Schoniger, at Strong Memorial/The Wilmont Cancer Center. He said he would take the same approach as Dr. Vandermeer, the surgeon I met with at Guthrie in Sayre. They are both respected surgeons, so I will be going with Dr. Vandermeer at Guthrie Sayre because he's closer to my home. I want my family and community to be able to support me through this surgery with as little travel time as is necessary. So, I spoke with Vandermer today and asked him his availability. He said he will likely be available on the 27th or 28th of September. He will have one of his staff call me tomorrow for scheduling.

As soon as he provided me those dates, I realized that's 15-16 days from now and just wanted to cry. So, perhaps later this evening or tomorrow when I get a free moment to myself, I will. I'll let it out and then get my shoulder back to the wheel. This isn't like last time. I don't have a committed partner by my side 24/7. I will be doing this...well, not alone, I know I have my family and community, but far more independently than I did the last time around.

Prior to surgery, I will get have an ultrasound procedure called a Duplex, during which my legs will be scanned for any blood clots. This is because of the massive pulmonary embolism I had following the last big surgery I had. Dr. Vandermeer wants to vanish as much risk of a repeat as possible. At the beginning of the actual tumor removal surgery, he will do an interoperative ultrasound (IOUS) with which he will scan my liver for any small tumors or cancer growth that CTs, PETs & MRIs can't locate, and to determine the location of blood vessels so he can navigate the surgery in the safest manner possible.

I will have about a week in the hospital following surgery, then a four to six week recovery at home. While recovering my doctors will put a microscope over the tumor cells and determine the best chemotherapy treatment. I'm looking at six-months of post-surgery chemo [insert frustration based profanity here]. And I'm committed to staying focused on being loving and grateful for my life and all that comes with it. We get what we get. And I have so much to be grateful for. In fact, my little man is the greatest motivation in the world. He's more precious than words can express and I'll do whatever I have to do to be here for him.

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