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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Two steps forward, one back

Dr. Grobler called this morning to say how sorry he was for the gaffe made by one of his office staffers yesterday. Of course, I accepted, but encouraged him to remind staffers not to give advice unless they're sure of what they're advising. I explained how that small mistake may have cost me $1,500 is co-payments in the new year. I fear I made him feel worse, and told him that it's a small price to pay if, in six months, I'm cancer-free and it appears I'll stay that way.

But he and Brenda took my fiscal concerns to heart. Dr. Grobler rescheduled his day Thursday to accommodate my biopsy. He's told pathologists he'll need results of the biopsy stat. And he spoke to Brenda and to Dr. Boyer, who tentatively scheduled my surgery for Friday. So, two steps forward in one day. At least two steps if the biopsy's results are negative.

I saw Dr. Diamond (pictured at right from the Florida Hospital Web site) this morning, who, like Dr. Z, was reasonably confident the biopsy will show negative results. He, too, thinks the hilar node "lit up" in the PET scan due to chemo or radiation irritating the node. He thinks it's highly unlikely it would be cancerous, but we still need to take the precautions of a biopsy to ensure the docs' best guesses are correct.

And since I have the best cancer docs and cancer team on either side of the Mississippi, I am betting their best guesses are pretty much dead-on.
So, I head to the hospital Thursday morning for pre-surgery tests, followed by registration for the biopsy, then the biopsy, followed by a night preparing myself mentally for the operation and then -- if the biopsy is negative -- the surgery itself Friday morning.

Because I'll be in La-La Land for a couple of days, I've asked Catherine to update her blog regularly with my condition. Its address is at the top left of my blog, near my photo, and also right here: Check out her posts, including her earlier items. She's a good writer and has a take on this whole thing that is different than I've been taking. You'll enjoy it.

Now for the step back. It has nothing to do with my condition. As many of you know, my Mom has been doing well in her recovery from a triple bypass in July. Sadly, early Wednesday she was rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center with respiratory problems. She's doing much better and just hours after arriving in the ICU they tried to remove the breathing tube placed when she arrived in the ER. But it didn't work well, so they're going to do it more gradually in the coming day or two. She's awake and eager to have this setback put behind her. She knows about my surgery and I've told her she needs to get better so we can switch roles and she can help me get better in the coming weeks. She says she's up to the task, so we'll see.

Either I, or Catherine, will keep you posted. I'll update Thursday night when I get home from my biopsy, then I'll pass the torch to my bride.

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