At long last…

From an email originally sent on August 12, 2012.

Good morning.

After much hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing, I’m pleased to report an honest-to-goodness actual surgery date: Tuesday, August 21st.  The surgery will be performed under the auspices of Prof. Mordechai (“Motti”) Gutman at Tel Hashomer, a well-regarded surgeon who does some pretty neat stuff including, apparently, organ transplantation. I do hope he leaves mine where they are.

To review, surgery was to have taken place in mid-July, but the original surgeon became unavailable and essentially left us to our own devices. Not cool, but what can you do?  So, Tammy kicked it into gear and got us in to see Gutman and, after just a few misunderstandings, we received a call on Thursday from his scheduler confirming the date of the 21st.

What does this mean?  Two things, so far.

  1. Pre-op is still this Wednesday the 15th.  If it’s anything like the previous pre-op experience about six weeks ago, it involves a lot of sitting around, repeating my medical history a few times, and untold numbers of bored-looking-underpaid clerks who move at a speed that might just get them in under the wire at the sloth Olympics.  (Whatever it is, I’ll take it any day over the “Go straight to the ER, they’re waiting for you” routine I went though last October.)
  2. I need to check in to the hospital on Monday.  Not sure what time, but I assume it will be after my aunt and uncle land early that morning.  If my understanding is correct, the purpose of the early check-in is two-fold: because surgery will likely start very early in the morning on Tuesday and I believe the surgeon wants to make sure my intestines are “prepared.”  (If that’s true, I can’t wait to tell you about THAT experience!)

Aside from that, we will take it in stride.  We’re expecting a minimum two-week hospital visit.  Tammy has been doing a great job of making sure I don’t set unrealistic expectations about being discharged and has already started to say things like: “Are you going to be a pain in the butt about getting out of bed and walking like last time, or will you be good this time?” and “When I tell you to do your arm exercises and breathing exercises, you won’t complain like last time, right?” or, “No, I can’t guarantee that all the nurses will be cute.”

She means well.

Needless to say, I am very excited about having this surgery done.  That I am a good candidate for it is a tremendous thing.  There are, unfortunately, people who want to have it done, but can’t, for a variety of reasons.

Why can I? Well, aside from being relatively young, relatively strong and relatively healthy, I have a tremendous support network of family, friends and colleagues (The last two aren’t necessarily distinct categories.), and a medical team I’ve come to respect and admire.  All have listened to my kvetching, been supportive when I lose my cool, and have provided opinions and guidance based in honesty and not on what they thought I’d want to hear.

Of course, if there’s more to report or any changes in the schedule, you’ll be among the first 150 or so hear about it!

Thanks for your continued good wishes.

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About Alan

F---ing Cancer since 2011.
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