Friday, October 14, 2016

Back for More Cauliflower!

Today's little odyssey was the usual frantic mess. We got up early (This time, we knew enough to make it extra-early.), and caught the morning Acela to the Big Fruit with time to spare. Once in the Big Fruit, we took the subway up and across town. Even so, we got very little time to eat lunch, and I could just cram down a croissant before we had to go in.

We saw Dr. Skully more or less on time, and I had a CAT scan lickety-split, but the MRI department was in hurry-up-and-wait mode. As a result, we had to trade in our tickets for a later train and barely made that. I'm not looking forward to going in to work tomorrow. Anyway, on to the guts of the thing.

Dr. Skully was her usual calm, pleasant self today as we went over plans for the surgery. It was kind of a rerun, since I had pretty much exactly the same surgery 2 months ago. (Yawn.) I signed several forms, including one that allows them to use any leftover pieces of my tissue for research. (Sloppy seconds.)

Dr. Skully told us today cleared up a lingering question in my head. Why, again, do we need to get more tissue? I remember what Dr. B told us. If it is cancer, it may take as long as two months to get a full diagnosis. Given its nasty location in my head, if I waited until I had symptoms to get another surgery, I would become a drooling, slack-faced, stumbling side-show act they would have to feed with a tube before they found the correct treatment. But I was still a little confused. Or, actually, I sort of understood once, but I needed someone to spell it out explicitly for me again. 

They expect to see dysplastic (doctor-talk for 'ugly') cells in area that has been irradiated as much as base of my skull has. That's nothing to write home about (or to bring to a tumor board meeting). But amongst these dysplastic uglies, there are clusters of cells whose "behavior appears locally invasive." That's a bit spicier than your usual Fukushima-face sandwich. If those invasive clusters are little islands of cancer, it's conceivable that I wouldn't be symptomatic yet, but I'd be in big trouble in the long run. They don't think that's what they are. They could be normal for my more-radiation-than-anyone-they-ever-heard-of face, or they could be normal for that face with an infection (which I did have at the time), but they don't know. I don't know. We need to know.

So yeah. Let's do this thing!

Be well,


P.S. Years ago, I shopped my original Tumoriffic saga (see to a book editor. She said it was too hard to follow. Really? It's a lot easier to follow than James Joyce! I was going to add that James Joyce wasn't funny, but my English major wife corrected me. I guess I just didn't get the humor when I read it in high school.

Totally irrelevant, but who could say 'no' to a baby sea lion?

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