I met with the surgeon today, finally. For the purposes of this discussion we’ll call him Dr. Frenchy, partly because he’s French and partly because it makes me think of Didi Conn in “Grease.” He doesn’t remind me of Didi Conn in “Grease” but I think you should always attempt to find ways to associate things in your life to characters from movie musicals of the 1970s and 80s. I’m still waiting to meet someone that I can call Rizzo and/or Kira. (look it up – that’s what Google is for).
Now, here’s the thing about stereotypes – they are often unfair and incorrect. I know that seems like a leap in context but stay with me. For instance, the French are often described as somewhat aloof. And surgeons, in general, are not often described as being warm, cuddly human beings.
Please to note that Dr. Frenchy is both French and a surgeon. Please to draw your own conclusions to those two facts.
Look, I’m not saying that I need a surgeon that is going to hug me and bake me cookies but this is a big, surgery so a little bit of hand-holding would be appreciated. Call me a wuss. It wouldn’t be the first time.
But Dr. Frenchy gave me the lowdown in a briskly efficient manner, and almost none of it involved cookies:
- He only completes about 1 in every 5 of these types of surgeries because most of the time when he gets in there the cancer is worse than they thought it was and at that point it isn’t worth putting the patient through it
- He wants me to go meet with an oncologist and a cardiothoracic surgeon, the former to determine if there should be any chemo or radiation before or after surgery and the latter to reach up into my chest and connect stuff after Dr. Frenchy has disconnected stuff
Now, there was a bit of good news. Because my tumor is so small, the amount of my esophagus and stomach that have to be removed is fairly small and so the recovery and it’s long-term implications are not as severe. I should be able to be working from home after a couple of weeks and although I’ll probably never eat “normally” again, and certainly won’t get to enjoy many of my favorite foods, it won’t be quite as militant diet as I was anticipating it would be.
I have to go get a CAT scan and then I have to see an oncologist this Friday. That would be the 13th. I’m going to try not to read too much into that. Then the cardio-God is next week. Surgery probably not until the last week of July at the earliest.