Friday, February 13, 2009

The game plan now

I saw the general surgeon today. Both he and his resident were super-nice; very laid-back and friendly but also very knowledgeable techically. The mass they are looking at (which I am now calling Spot) is just below my ribs on my left side but around the back. It's in the muscles, so closeish to the surface, though the surgeon can't feel it from the outside. As I was being "felt up" I mentioned that maybe my extra "fluff" made it more difficult. He scoffed at that notion and I felt relieved. He did say that the incision will be about 3-4 inches long; he didn't give an actual measurement but showed me with his fingers, so that is my estimate. He said that this is pretty much like an excisional biopsy; he felt that trying biopsy Spot first wouldn't serve a useful purpose since they would want to remove it in either case.

I asked him how long I will be hospitalized. "Oh, this will be outpatient," barring any complications, he replied. At that point I turned to Jim and said "I love this man!" Then I asked how long I would be out of work. He asked me what kind of work I do. "I sit at a computer all day." "Oh, well, then a few days to a week. If you feel a lot of pain that endures, we would keep you out longer but otherwise it's not necessary." Oh my... this is very good news indeed. I have decided that I want this thing, whatever it is, out of me. If it is RCC (very likely) I feel like it is a timebomb. Removing it certainly won't guarantee that I won't have another recurrence; in fact, the experts involved have been implying that I will have more recurrences. On the other hand, I don't need this Spot sending cancer cells out to other parts of my body.

So, I am scheduled for surgery on Monday, February 23.

If I am really only out a week, I also won't have to go on short term disability. Our plan has a one week waiting period so I'd be using a week of PTO in either case. So, if I come back in a week's time, I may still be able to take off the week in April that I wanted to spend with the girls. Fingers crossed that it all works out!

Dr. Rini had said that if I did have Spot removed, that he would want to discuss with me getting my consent to have a piece of it for research. Sure, why not? It would be good for Spot to end its life doing something useful in the name of science.


Audrey said...

PVs that the procedure goes smoothly, you heal nicely and quickly, and all is well. {{{{hugs}}}}

Pollyanna said...

Out, out Damn Spot?!

Not sure if that is appropriate or not, but all I could think of was that line;)

Wow! Outpatient seems really nice. Fingers and toes crossed. Please keep us posted!!!

onesillymama said...

LOL! Maybe that's why Spot was the first name I could think of, Polly!

RHIA said...

((((Liz)))) It sounds like your surgeon is the right Spot remover. I will definitely be keeping my PV's shooting your way.