It's odd that I've put off this blog post since last Thursday. I guess it is more that I can't figure out how to truly wrap my head around what is about to happen. It always seems when you are sick or have been sick that the beauty of denial can be your best friend and your worst enemy at the same time. It allows you to not freak out, which is usually good, but at the same time it causes you to not share major news with anyone. You know, stuff like when you are having surgery on your lungs at 8:30am tomorrow...
It's what I've spent the last month dreading, but knowing almost to certainty that it would happen. As you most likely know, all of my tumor markers are normal, the lesions on my lungs have shrank to almost nothing, and in general I feel better than I have in at least a year. As good as all of that is, when you had cancer and it metastasizes there are equal chances it stays around in 1 of 3 forms: 1) active cancer 2)teratomas or 3)necrotic tissue. Since my blood work shows normal markers we can eliminate the first possibility. Which is awesome. If there was a way to know what the lesions were without surgery then they would likely just observe them and make sure there was no growth. There is no way to know and while necrotic tissue usually dissipates on its own, the teratoma is the concerning option and reason for surgery. These are the tumors that can start to grow on their own and while not cancerous, they are the ones you hear where people have huge growths that contain hair, nails, teeth, etc. No one needs something like that in their lungs. So, the plan is to take out what is in my right lung tomorrow as well as the enlarged lymph nodes in my chest. All of this, as scary as it is to me, has always been an option and is fairly common practice in cases like mine. After about 5 weeks off they'll do my left lung, which has considerably less trouble spots, and also do the lymph nodes in my stomach area.
Is this all serious? hell yes. Am I freaked out? more than I care to admit. As everyone who knows has told me so far, "Everything will be fine!" I'm sure it will, but if you have a friend or loved one who is about to have some very vital organs cut into, don't tell them that. It downplays the true seriousness of it all. While it is easy for all of you to consider the percentage where something bad happens as minimal and unlikely, my mind despite its usual glass-half-fullness is running into roughly DEFCON 2-3 range. I know it is something I can't control and that I shouldn't be this worried, but I cannot help it.
The good news for all of us is that I'll be in the hospital for 5 days and thus will have ample time to come up with entertaining & funny things for all of us. the good thing is that the rooms are private, but the bad things is that the rooms are private. I had hopes of an annoying roommate with which i could talk about all week. Maybe it will be a nurse or something that comes to the rescue and provides me with the necessary material. we shall see.
Now to end on some good news. We sold all of the bracelets and thus have raised about $900 for the local charity which is awesome. So maybe tomorrow you should all wear your "I Rock One" bracelets. Susan is also checking into something at work where Dell matches $ for $ on any employee donating to charity, so we could possibly have almost $2k to donate. Which would be awesome. So thanks for helping out and thanks for being so supportive over this last half of 2011.