September 15-October 8: The landscaping company comes to give an estimate on yard work, which includes cutting down the dead arborvitae tree that makes me think of my cancerous lung.
I love editing on my new sun porch! Faithful pups lie on a rug in the sunshine.
On the 19th, I go to an appointment at the Radiology Department, which is aswarm with professional people showing good sense and good will. For two solid hours, they talk to me and answer questions! The doctor explains that I need another biopsy to determine whether the lymph nodes are cancerous—we can’t discuss treatment until we know. Another doctor will perform the bronchoscopy. I’m furnished with lists of people to help me post-surgery: house cleaning, rides, etc. Wow! This is the motherlode of cancer support!
I see the pulmonologist a few days later, feel good about him, and schedule the second biopsy for October 4.
I had to wait over a month to reach people whose job it is to provide solid information and support. Fortunately for me, I have things to think about besides the cancer: family, my dogs, the manuscript, landscaping, creating a sun room, planning to buy new appliances for the kitchen, etc. Then there’s always the Situation in the White House hovering over me like a big, black dripping cloud. Twice during this time, I write my senators, representative, and the newspaper, and tweet Lindsey Graham.
On October 4, I put on my surgery suit: navy blue pants and jacket, and white T-shirt emblazoned with sequined pineapples. Ryan and I go to the hospital and while I wait to be wheeled off to the surgery room, we discuss politics. He’s conservative and I’m liberal. We keep our voices down. When I get to the surgery room, I’m somewhat alarmed when the anesthesiologist manhandles the blood pressure machine. I remember asking, “Doesn’t the equipment work?” Soon after, he puts me to sleep.
On October 8, the pulmonologist calls to say the lymph nodes are not cancerous. I will see a thoracic surgeon next week.
I may get the surprise of my life, but I don’t feel like I’m dying. At least, not now.
Next Post: The thoracic surgeon