It's a strange day to be going to see a surgeon, yet that is what I will be doing. When last I checked in here, I was waiting to see if I was a candidate for ablation or radiosurgery to remove the mass in my side. I got a call last week from the office of the urologic surgeon who removed the mass in my abdomen in August; he was referring me to a general surgeon. Ablation is out of the picture, and the neurosurgeon and her colleagues did not think my situation was a good candidate for the gamma knife. It's interesting that Dr. Rini seemed against another surgical intervention, but now he is on board, so he must have changed his thinking somewhat.
I have no idea when or how this will happen, though I should have a lot more answers after next week. I have heard great things about the doctor I will be seeing, which makes me feel better about it. It's never a good time to have surgery, but I am particularly unhappy about this timing for a few reasons. For one, my direct supervisor is at home recovering from her brain surgery, and won't be back until (hopefully) early to mid-March. There is a ton of craziness going on at work, that I hate to dump off on others and also am scrambling to make some sense of as soon as possible. We have a new executive director who is functioning as direct supervisor for me and all of Deb's reports, and I felt bad telling him about this. But to his everlasting credit, when I told him that hopefully my leave and Deb's would not overlap by much, he immediately responded that I should not delay one nanosecond in taking care of myself. Of course that is the right answer, but not always the answer one gets in these situations, so it was gratifying.
Then, there's the whole idea of surgery, anesthesia, hospitalization (which I LOATHE), pain, recovery, etc etc etc to deal with. I know I can and will get through it, but man, I don't really want to have to. On the other hand, I want this thing out of me, so we can see what it is (they can't do a needle biopsy due to its proximity to the bowel) and then hopefully I can consider myself cancer free once again, for at least a short while. There is always a tiny chance that it's something benign, but I can't let myself focus on that notion because if I do, then hearing that it was actually RCC will be more devastating, like it was the last time.
My side and back actually hurt today, which of course freaks me out. This area hurts off and on, but when I talked to Dr. R about it he thought it was too sporadic to be from cancer. Today I think it might be sore because of my nearly 2 hour drive to work today. Argh... flipped cars all over the highways, with my main route being closed. Luckily I heard that in time to divert but still it took a long time to get to work. Apparently a lot of people thought that since the snow stopped yesterday, the road surface was dry today. You'd think they'd never heard of black ice. Idiots.
Of course my most heartfelt worry is for the girls. Becky flipped out the last time I was in the hospital, as it happened during the first week of her new school. I'm praying that six months of maturity and good conversation will help her feel more at ease. I'm also praying that I will not be away from home too long, as that will really help both girls feel better. We're not going to talk to them about the surgery until it's scheduled. This timing is also disappointing because I had planned to take a week off work during B's spring break week so the girls and I could have some fun. That is no longer a firm plan, depending on timing and how long I might be on medical leave. Not fair... I do know that in the scheme of things this is not huge, and I would rather have cancer removed from my body for sure, but I just feel sad and disappointed. At some point I will get over it but I'm not there just yet.