You enter the hospital. Your wife is by your side. You are wearing a comfortable grey shirt and dark grey track pants with a red stripe down the side. You go to the 3rd floor and check-in at the desk. You are escorted to a room filled with hospital beds and equipment. Curtains separate each of the beds. You change into a hospital gown with booties on your feet and a cap for your hair. It is chilly but the nurse gives you a warm blanket to put over you. With just a small prick, the nurse puts an IV in your arm. Your anxiety builds as you wait for another 30 minutes. Your wife keeps you preoccupied with jokes. Eventually, a nurse comes in to wheel you to surgery. You kiss your wife goodbye and breathe deep.
The surgical room is brightly lit and there are monitors mounted to the ceiling. The nurses help you hop from the bed onto the surgical table. It gets even colder in the room. The nurse folds down your gown and props a blue sheet over your head, obscuring your view. Someone rubs cold alcohol onto your chest. The surgeon comes in and says hello as he begins preparing for your procedure.
The ceiling begins to spin. You begin slurring your words as you tell the surgeon to take his time and get it right. Slowly everything fades to black…
You have 3 options:
1. The surgeon puts a scope into your chest and is able to take sample tissue with minimal surgery. You leave the hospital that night under your own power with only a small cut at the base of your throat.
2. The surgeon makes 3 small incisions on your side and is able to get a tissue sample by triangulating into the affected area. You leave the hospital that night under your own power with some soreness in your side.
3. The surgeon makes a 6 inch incision in your side, cuts through a rib, reduces blood flow through some of your collateral veins and is able to get multiple tissue samples. You spend 5-6 days in the hospital recovering from the surgery. Brazil wins the World Cup and you miss 4th of July.
These are my options. Wednesday I am getting a surgical biopsy to see what the PET activity is in my chest. The surgeon has to work around my 11cm lump of scar tissue in order to get tissue samples.
Jen is going to have a lot on her plate the day of the surgery. We will post an update here as soon as we can to let all of you know how it goes. I’m sure I’ll be fine, it is just a question of how much recovery time I will need. Then we wait for the biopsy results.
Although all of your love and support is greatly appreciated – we would also appreciate your patience. Please don’t call or text unless it is necessary. Sometimes it all gets a bit overwhelming. We will reach out when we can.
Talk to you soon.