Thursday, May 13, 2010
Tonight, I got back from a “quick” trip to the hospital for pre-surgery tests and appointments. The drive is long, 375 miles each way, but I’m feeling well enough to do that by myself.
I drove out Wednesday and back today. Driving on the prairie isn’t all that stressful when the weather is good. There’s little traffic, and I just put the cruise control on and use the time to pray, think or listen to music or a ball game.
The doctors packed in a lot of tests, and results I have back so far are encouraging. My blood work shows that my counts have climbed back to normal, which is especially good news for my immune system.
The CT scan of my chest shows the cancer has not affected my lungs. The EKG told the doctors my heart is strong (maybe part of my charisma as a Priest of the Sacred Heart?) and able to handle surgery.
I had two tests that the results are still pending from. The vascular surgeon ordered an ultrasound of the veins in my abdomen and legs, to look at the blood flow, and help them determine how much the blood vessels have been affected by the tumor. If some of the veins need to be resected or replaced that will be one of the more complicated parts of the surgery.
I had another MRI to see what effect the chemo and radiation has had on the tumor, but those results were not back by the time I met with the oncologist. When he looked over the other results, he was quite pleased. He doesn’t’ expect me to need any more chemotherapy, which is definitely good news.
With a little over a week to go before surgery, I’m feeling pretty good going in. I tell folks I’m about 85% of normal. The doctors expect 6 – 12 weeks of recovery, and I’ll just have to let the medicines and my body take the time to heal.
I came back home to another pile of cards and letters with lots of prayers and encouragement. I have certainly felt blessed and loved through this whole process!