This was originally sent out on June 17, 2012. Posting now in an effort to keep everything organized…
It’s been a very busy month, to say the least. Much has happened since my last dispatch. Many Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and other wonderful occasions. Some trans-Atlantic travel to and from work. Playing tour guide to relatives who made their first trip to Israel in forever.
And lots of doctor appointments.
You’ll remember from last time, Tammy and I were in the process of meeting with various doctors to determine which surgery would be best for me: simply reversing the ileostomy or going for the much more aggressive HIPEC. To jump right into it, Tammy and I have made the decision that we will go ahead with the HIPEC procedure. I’m on the calendar to have the surgery done on July 15th at Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva.
The decision is not an easy one and is not to be taken lightly. It’s tough to do, but after consulting with the surgeon who’d perform it, as well as a specialist in Pittsburgh (It’s beautiful there this time of year. More on that adventure in a minute.) and others in my healthcare inner circle, Tammy and I decided now is the time to do it.
“Pittsburgh?” you ask. It’s really quite simple. When meeting with the surgeon in Israel, Tammy asked him who he’d go to if he had to have HIPEC done. His answer was “David Bartlett in Pittsburgh.” So, Tammy and I decided that perhaps I should pay the good doctor a visit. A little Google research, a couple of phone calls, and Tammy’s on the phone with Bartlett’s office, sending documents translated into English (Thank you, Sharon!), as well as links for CT and PET scans (Thank you, Avi!). As I was in NY, I told Tammy that if I could get an appointment on Thursday or Friday this past week, I’d present myself in Pittsburgh. Wouldn’t you know it, on Wednesday afternoon we heard from the hospital that Dr. Bartlett was available on Thursday at 3:40 pm. So, Thursday morning I ditched work (Thank you, Michael!) and drove through the middle of Pennsylvania. Gorgeous cancer center, they have. With valet parking (Helen, did you hear?!).
Bartlett’s team was patient and wonderful, and answered all our questions. Tammy was on the phone from Israel, even though it was way past her bedtime. The good folks answered everything we threw at them and confirmed that I’m a good candidate for this surgery, now is the time to do it and there is no reason not to have it done in Israel.
What a relief! I was concerned about leaving there with more questions than answers. But, that wasn’t the case.
So, plan confirmed, I’m now wrapping up my penultimate trip to NY before surgery. Fly back home tomorrow night. Pre-op tests on Wednesday. Then, the plan is one more trip next week and then home for surgery.
Stay tuned for more news, likely in early July.