Chapter 8: Making a Game Plan

On Monday, July 6, I got my PET scan results back. On the edge of my seat I sat as I called the surgeon’s office. I was directed to a voicemail (womp, womp) and prayed one of the PAs would call me back during the hour I had set aside from patient care. I just didn’t want to be knuckle deep working on a patient’s back when they called to say “well, this tumor is um…gargantuan.”

While I don’t advise it, sometimes waiting by the phone proves to be effective. It was for me. The PA called me right back and explained that the lung mass was the ONLY positive thing on the PET scan and there were no signs of spread to other organs. But –there was an additional mass they hadn’t seen the first time. Hmmm. SO the plan was the same—surgical biopsies first, then surgery to remove the mass next. They called the hospital and scheduled my biopsies for June 15 (9 days later).

This shit was getting real.

How did I feel? Relieved to know the mass had not spread. Comforted to know that there was a concrete plan with dates and times for a biopsy. Annoyed that this was only a biopsy and I had to go through a risky surgery that would yield no immediate answers Patience, young grasshopper. I told myself that it was OK that biopsy results take a few days. I’d been there and done it before and it all ended up ok. If the doctor thought it was urgent, I’d be in surgery today.

Overall, I was almost elated that there was a road map in front of me. I was also stressed. So I got home and indulged in the treat I’d been waiting for all week: COCONUT YOGURT “ice cream” and 85% dark chocolate sauce. I added alcohol free vanilla, English toffee flavored stevia and sea salt to the sauce for a heavenly treat. I believe that if I get stuck on a desert island, I will survive off of Pizza, Ice Cream, Chocolate, and Cheese. When you haven’t had any of those things and may never get to have their “real” version again, this was a god-sent treat.

Oh-great response by someone to me sharing my elation and joy about my treat “I hate coconut ice cream. It’s fake and tastes awful. So does Stevia.”

Consider my bubble burst and my parade rained upon. I don’t mean to sound like an entitled brat, but these truly are my favorite foods. I don’t care how “junky” and bad for you they are, or how un-like “the real thing” they may be. You should have seen me with mustard for the first time in months. Just the flavor explosion was so much to be excited about.

You see why being on this diet makes people cry?

So here we are, 1 week before surgery. I was told today that I need to plan to stay overnight after surgery, even though it is at 5:30 AM. They are going to be very careful to monitor me since the procedures are near and dear to my heart (literally)…and lungs.

I’m already planning how to live out my creative, positive, athlete side for this surgery. I am terrified, but my game face is on. I’m going to wear superhero clothes and socks (my superhero alias is WonderWoman) and show an adult hospital that kid-like adornments do make you happier and recover better. There’s a whole blog about that concept and how adults in adult hospitals who are treated how kids are treated in children’s hospitals actually recover more quickly and have better outcomes.

I’m ready to get this show on the road.

This weekend, I have some very good medicine flying in from Texas. She couldn’t have better timing! “She” is my almost-2-year-old niece Story Beth—and she’s bringing my sister and brother in law with her. I can’t wait for kid playtime, snuggles and excitement!

Read on to Chapter 9: Biopsy AND Results for more on this story!