Friday, April 17, 2009

Here is the plan....

My nerves were everywhere yesterday. So much so that I started crying when we got to the surgeons office. When I cry anymore it is not loud or like sobbing. It is just tears that run down my face. No sobbing, no change in facial expression, no breathing change - just tears. I got myself together enough to get through the appointment. He is a really nice guy with one draw back (according my by husband) that he played well upon their meeting. He is a frenchie. That means French Canadian, but he studied at U of T (University of Toronto), spent some time in Ottawa and in Alberta, so he was "tolerable". Not that my husband is prejudice or anything. Anyhoo - I liked him. He took me through what my situation was and how we were going to handle it in excruciating detail (Grant LOVED it). I saw my scans (which I have NEVER looked at), he drew pictures, and then laid it out on an easel on how they decide whether or not to do surgery. 1. If the primary site is controlled. (My rectum) check! 2. No other sites other than lungs. check! 3. All disease in lung is removable. (This is where I started to cry - was it? Is it? Please God say it is. And then he said, "It is, but you are going to loose some lung and we are going to do one side at a time." fine - whatever - check! 4. If I had enough lung left over to live and lung capacity to survive the surgery. He assumes that will be true, but I will need to do one more test. On the "easy" test, I measured 100% lung capacity. check. and 5. There is no better option. So, he believes that I am a good candidate for the operation and that this is the way to go. Here is the scary part. This will be physical surgery. We decided to do my right lung first. It has always been worse than the left and I just feel that it needs attention first. I will have an incision from my back at mid rib cage to the front horizontal to the ground. He said this will be a very big scar. (Luckily, I have sons so they will think it is cool.) He will split my ribs, cut one of the two muscles, move the other and PHYSICALLY HOLD MY LUNG TO SEE WHAT AND HOW EXACTLY TO REMOVE EACH SITE. Now, here is the other part. Before I thought there was one in my right and two in my left. Well, he said that he is going to take anything that he deems suspicious. That means five in my right and three in my left. In my right, he will completely remove the lower lobe (sp!) which has three spots, and staple out the other two. New ways to use a stapler! The left which will be done at a later date will be done cutting one away and stapling two. So, here are the other items I got to learn. There is a 1% chance I will die in surgery and there is an outside chance that I have what he referred to as a sandpaper coating of cancer all over my lungs that a PET or CT would not be able to pick up. If that happened, he will close me up and there is nothing that can be done. After he told me that fun bit of info, I looked at him and said, "Well, we are just going to decide that that is NOT going to happen." He said, "That sounds great to me." So, I agreed to all this and then said, "When we doin' it? I am free next week." He said, "No. You have been on Avastin and that is a serious drug that impedes healing. We need to wait." I responded with, "Rules don't really apply to me. So, next week is good. Call my oncologist. He will clear me." He looked at me and gave me the, "Yeah no" look. Clearly, he didn't know who I was even though he had lunch with my colon/rectal surgeon that day who said hi to me through him and when I said, "Oh, he is on of my favorites." He replied with, "I am pretty sure the feeling is mutual." with this Canadian edge to his voice like, "What is this a frickin' love fest???" I like him and I am sure I am winning him over! ;) Anyhoo, the date of the surgery is the 29th of April in the afternoon. Recovery time will be 2 to 3 weeks since I was never a smoker (6 weeks for smokers). Kids there is a good reason NEVER TO START! I will be in the hospital for 3 to 6 days and cannot lift ANYTHING for two weeks. So, I will probably live with my Mom and Dad where my Aunt is living because her house is being raised and where the boys will be. She will have a full house and my Dad is having knee surgery on the 27th - GOOD TIMES! We are currently trying to see how best to work this all out and to see if we need help. So, Karissa, Leslie, Jane, and Jen - you are all on alert. It doesn't look too bad right yet, but we will learn more as we go. I will tell you more as I know, Ang


Myrna said...

Thanks for all the info, Angie. I'm praying for the BEST possible outcome and quick recovery and continuation of your unquenchable spirit and zeal for life! Maybe I'd better pray for your parents! That's a full house!

Anonymous said...

Hi Angela,
I'm sending lots of pixie dust and positive thoughts and prayers for an easy recovery and a 100% healthy body. That is certainly what you deserve. It sounds like you have a great plan and I believe that this step will be the golden ticket for a long and healthy life.

Let us know what we can do for you - we're all behind you! (no pun intended)

Take care - love ya!

Haley said...

thanks for the info!! i will pass it along to the wee waddlers moms if that is ok... we love you ang, and we are praying for a completely successful surgery and quick recovery, and for this to be DONE!!!

Vicki Olafson said...

It sounds like you are in truly good hands and there is a well, thought-out plan ahead for you. Trust in your doctors. Remind me of the hospital? You know I'm with you heart and you dearly and we'll catch up soon.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing better than a good plan.

Peace, Annemarie

Anonymous said...

Hey Angie -

I'm so glad to hear that you are having this surgery. I think cutting out anything suspicious seems like a great plan. I can't wait until cancer is a thing of the past for you.

Libby (coworker of Grant)

Anonymous said...

Dear Angie: What a power you have to turn those tough Surgeons to putty in your hands! We, your friends all know you have this ability but each new conquest you gather reaffirms our faith and love for you. No scalpel will ever touch the essence of your strength
and your will. Reading what you write makes me proud to be counted among your friends. Love to you and your great family! pat&mag

Elaine said...

Dear Angie, I went to Swedish yesterday for my "tire rotation and lube" and Dr. Rivkin wanted one more test and I said I will probably be back to see my friend Angie Clarno. He whipped around and his nurse flung over and they both cornered me and said WHY!!!! Apparently they know you also and I told them the good news and he got the biggest smile. So you even made his day and you weren't there. Knowing you it is no wonder the whole world loves you. Love Elaine