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Health Update - Mo's Journal
December 6th, 2006
12:33 pm

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Health Update
I went to the surgeon yesterday and am feeling much, much better. It went really well. He removed a whole bunch of fluid when he did the fine needle aspiration, so it relieved a lot of pressure right away. That's temporary relief, but hey I'll take what I can get!

He sent that off to be biopsied, but said it did not look cancerous to him. OTOH, he cautioned me that what's in there that you can't get with a needle could still be malignant (there are multiple tumors). Either way, it has to come out and I'm scheduled for surgery on 12/27. I'll only miss three days work and will still have the long weekend to recuperate. If it's malignant and I have to have chemo, it's an easy kind and I only need to do it once, several weeks after the surgery. So, I have plenty of sick leave for what needs to be done, which was a real concern.

I'm a little sick of people telling me that it's a "good" kind of cancer, but I do understand that it is. Recovery rates are very high and chemo is very easy to tolerate. I just always feel like responding to the "good cancer" comment with "No thank you. I'd rather have no cancer at all, if you don't mind." It reminds me of the time S and I were in a really bad car accident, pre-kids, and emerged only concussed and bruised, with no lasting injuries. Everyone I knew said "You're so lucky!" And I did feel like I was lucky, but I felt like all those people who weren't in car accidents at all were luckier, so why were they telling me I'm lucky? So, I'll be happy to have a "good" cancer if it comes to that, but happier to have none.

The surgeon said my trachea has significant deviation, that he might have to do a tracheostomy depending on how bad it is, but it would be temporary. He did say "If you don't have this removed, it will kill you" which was freaky to hear. On the whole I think I'd rather have it removed :-).

He seemed very competent and rattled off his stats vs. national figures in terms of causing damage to the larynx by this surgery. He's the chair of the surgery department and has all those New York Magazine "Best Doctor" covers with his name on them. The hospital is a decent one, I think, and not too far from my house.

I think, in addition to being technically proficient, that he's a good doctor for me. He reviewed all my test results very thoroughly and talked to me about what they meant and how they inter-related. I knew most of that stuff already, but attention to detail gives me a feeling of comfort. He also answered all of my questions, and really seemed to take his time with me (which is probably why I waited an hour to see him - he was taking his time with other patients). He dictated his report while I was still there, in order to allow me another chance to ask questions that might arise from it. I thought that was a very efficient way to do things! With other doctors, I've gotten the report later and if I had a question I had to call the office.

My girls will be in India for my nephew's wedding while I'm having surgery (and Doran is gone for three months already ::sobs uncontrollably::) so I won't miss time with the kids while I'm in the hospital and won't have any parental responsibilities while I'm recovering, which is all good.


Anyway, I feel really good to be doing something about this!

Current Mood: relievedrelieved

(23 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:talktooloose
Date:December 6th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC)
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I know what you mean about "good cancer" and "lucky". All the "good news" in this post made me more weepy than dancy.

But it sounds like things are as good as they could be under the circumstances and you're going to be fine. Hang in there!

*hugs*
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From:mofic
Date:December 7th, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I'm feeling pretty good about this - particularly compared to how I was feeling.
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From:executrix
Date:December 6th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC)
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In any illness, there are the objective factors of getting treatment, which you have already handled efficiently, but also the subjective experience of being ill. I don't think anybody's worked out a good way to help, other than to say things like "good cancer if you have to have cancer." But I hope that the subjective experience will be improved by the knowledge of how many people care, and how powerfully, that you have the best recovery possible and ASAP.
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From:mofic
Date:December 7th, 2006 12:20 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I'm not really mad at people for giving me the "good cancer" line - I know it comes from a good place. It just gets old kind of quick.
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From:eveningblue
Date:December 6th, 2006 04:55 pm (UTC)
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Well, that all sounds like really good news. I'm glad to hear it!

About the "good" kind of cancer--I guess I'm a pessimist and always figured I'd get cancer some day. So if I got a "good" kind of cancer, it would seem pretty good to me.

Same with car accidents: you figure you've got to be in a few, statistically speaking, in your life, so if you're in minor ones, that would mean that the odds are lowered that you'd be in major ones.

That probably does not make logical sense but it makes me feel better.
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From:mofic
Date:December 7th, 2006 12:20 pm (UTC)
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That probably does not make logical sense but it makes me feel better

LOL!
From:violetglaze
Date:December 6th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
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Fantastic! Great news. I'll cross my fingers.
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From:talktooloose
Date:December 6th, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC)
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**iconshock**
From:violetglaze
Date:December 6th, 2006 05:48 pm (UTC)
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Gee, thanks! Her name is Ula Matteson and she's a contortionist (of course).
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From:skyline3way
Date:December 6th, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
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I am sending good thoughts your way. I hope there is someone to take care of you while you recouperate.
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From:mofic
Date:December 7th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, Faye. Friends have offered to help.
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From:momma_geek
Date:December 6th, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad to hear that the news is as good as it is. Of course, we'd all prefer you had no health news at all :)

[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:December 7th, 2006 12:22 pm (UTC)
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I'll try for no health news next year. It will be my New Year's Resolution :-).
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From:ringthebells
Date:December 6th, 2006 06:04 pm (UTC)
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Eeek. I guess I've been behind on reading my flist—this is the first I'd heard that you had health worries at all.

*hug* I'm hoping everything goes as well as possible!
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From:mofic
Date:December 7th, 2006 12:21 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, Alice!
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From:blue_braces
Date:December 6th, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
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*hugs*

*sends good health thoughts*
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From:mofic
Date:December 7th, 2006 12:21 pm (UTC)
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Received! Thanks.
(Deleted comment)
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From:mofic
Date:December 7th, 2006 12:17 pm (UTC)
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Hugs are always helpful, and work just fine long distance!
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From:lilacsigil
Date:December 7th, 2006 01:19 am (UTC)
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I'm really pleased to hear all of this - the only real effects from my surgery were being really stiff and sore from the chest up for a few days because of the position they had my head in, weird numb spots all over my neck and chin which are still there and move around (apparently this is not so usual and doesn't cause any actual problems) and now I can't swallow large tablets!

Keep us updated!
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:December 7th, 2006 12:16 pm (UTC)
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The BTDT is very helpful to hear! Thanks.
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From:musamea
Date:December 7th, 2006 03:40 am (UTC)
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Please let us know if there's anything we can do. I know it sounds trite, but... yeah. We're here.

I'm really glad to hear that you get along so well with your doctor. It's great that he communicates with you so well and thoroughly; it sounds like that's been helping a lot.

*hugs*
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From:mofic
Date:December 7th, 2006 12:23 pm (UTC)
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Thanks. I don't really know this surgeon, but he seemed fine, and I do have confidence in my internist.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:December 7th, 2006 12:27 pm (UTC)
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With all those OTOHs, I want to lend you a hand :-).

The kids seem to be doing fine with it. I’m pretty upbeat about it and they seem to be taking their cues from me. We joke about the “good cancer” thing. I also told them that when the surgeon did the fine needle aspiration he told me “It won’t hurt. I’ve been doing these for thirty years and they haven’t hurt me yet” which Zara in particular found pretty funny.

I may take you up on the phone call thing!

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