Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yeah, so. A little more detail, like you need it.

I need a moustache. Or a pair of those Groucho glasses, so I can wear them as they wheel me into the OR.

The surgeon I saw today--and I wish I hadn't already used the name "Dr. Heron"--reminds me of a large wading bird. He has a shock of untidy brown hair, a nose two sizes too large, and stands about six foot five. Most of his height is in his legs, and he stoops, so the general effect is that of a drab crane with bunions. He's sweet and shy and quiet, but then comes out with something dryly funny and a nice grin that makes his face all wrinkly. In other words, he's nothing like what he seems in the unit.

Dr. Crane stuck flexible tubes up my nose and into my sinuses, fiddled around and took some pictures, and gave me the following news:

1. The CT showed absolutely zilch. Given that the tumor isn't highly vascular, this comes as no surprise at all. Near as we can tell, it hasn't invaded the bone, though, which is good.

2. It takes up a surprising amount of my soft palate and is invading my sinus. Again, no shocker; that's pretty typical tumor behavior.

3. He's not certain that the lymph node he saw is nasty because of cancer, but better safe than sorry, so we're going ahead with the biopsy. Yee-haw.

4. It's weird that nobody noticed this last year during my exam.

5. He's seen enough of these tumors to know that some people die from them.

That last point is reassuring rather than otherwise. Most surgeons in most places--even ENTs--haven't seen that many minor salivary gland tumors. And most people don't die from 'em. To have seen enough to have had patients die is an excellent thing; it means that he'll be able to resect this little bastard totally and know what he's doing.

I might lose some teeth (minor concern). I will certainly have what Dr. Crane termed a "great big hole" in my head (moderate concern). I will certainly have to have wide external-beam radiation (major concern). All of that, though, is in the future--and it's a future that won't be determined until I get the MRI and PET scan.

The upside of all of this is that I got a prescription for one five-milligram tab of Valium to take before the PET. I'm not usually a huge fan of benzodiazapenes, but this one I'm looking very forward to.

13 comments:

woolywoman said...

Good that Dr Crane takes the bastard seriously. I like a surgeon with a good sense of humor. They can be surprising, sometimes, like the jock who is embarrassed that he likes to read Trollop. Palate prosthesis in your future?

me said...

Definitely a case of "Better living through chemicals" there ~
Thinking of you ~~~

nurse XY said...

Hey, his name could be Dr. HeroIn. That would be marginally worse than a gangly long legged bird...

Luis said...

Shit, I'd want Valiums (Valiae?) twice a day until forever if I were in your shoes. Those little bastards are like magic I Don't Care pills. I would eat them like M&Ms just to get myself to grade papers, to say nothing of what would happen even if I did have a wimpy-ass caaaaaaaaansaaaaaah that shopped QVC.

bdaiss said...

Love your visual. Love that you have a doc that rox. It may be for breast cancer, but I still think I should send you this:
http://www.foxyblunt.com/product/thinking_of_you.aspx

Celeste said...

You're doing so great. If it was me, I'd need a Valium salt lick in my house.

inkgrrl said...

I'm so sorry that you have to go through this, and so very glad your sense of humor is all up in there using da tumor for a speed bag :-)

Crossing fingers and toes for the most boringest PET EVAR!

PS: my captcha is 'sprerge' - pretty sure that's an instrument I got yelled at for passing with the wrong hand...

Shannon Tucker Photography said...

I love your commentors, too:
"a Valium salt lick..."

The surgeon sounds like the right guy for the job!

sending healing engergy ♥

Anonymous said...

Best wishes for a PET that is purple, green, and blue ... and maybe Dr. Crane getting happy enough with your PET and his margins that radiation gets minimized.

Thanks so much for keeping your readers in the loop.

Judith said...

I like the sound of Dr Crane.

You write exceptionally well!

pita said...

Valium is your friend. I've not had a PET scan, but the oral surgeon had me take a valium before the gum graft. By the time i was in the chair and they started working, I didn't have a care in the world.


captcha: pasta, hmmm makes me hungry

messymimi said...

Good to know you are being taken care of by the best. The fact that he has a sense of humor also means he is good -- it takes brains to be so subtle.

Anonymous said...

Put another 5mg in your pocket as "security Valium". You probably won't need it, but it can be comforting just to know it's there.