I am having surgery Monday. I wrote about it for the National Catholic Register.
I am having surgery next Monday to learn whether or not my cancer has spread.
Docs in movies know what is wrong and what to do about it at jump street. Or, if they don’t get it at first glance, they engage in heroics and ultimately figure it out.
Movie medicine has nothing to do with real-life medicine as I have experienced it this past year and a half. Cancer diagnosis is more like playing a game of Clue. The “diagnosis” changes at each office visit, and in my case, it tends to slide downhill with each new reveal.
Take my current situation as a for-instance. I went through a hard week of thinking the cancer had spread, only to be told that — hooray! — “It” was benign. Then, after a wonderful weekend of thinking I was ok, my main doc called and said, “This report doesn’t make sense.”I went back in and, after looking at the possibilities, we decided to go in, and get the thing. It was the only way to be sure.
My doc’s concerns were simple. This thing is big, and it’s growing. It’s growing fast. Three months ago, it wasn’t there. Then, three weeks ago, it was 2 centimeters. Now, it’s — I know this from checking it quite a lot — obviously bigger still. It’s gotten big enough that I can see it through the skin when I look in the mirror.
The diagnosis on that report does not jibe with those facts. Given my personal history the cancer possibility is too real to ignore.
She offered me the old “we could watch it” solution, but I demurred. I mean, “watch it” do what? I think she knew, after dealing with me for so long now, what I would decide. Let’s get the thing out of there. I want to know if I can walk away from this and live for a while, or if I’m looking at advanced cancer. (Read the rest here.)