Friday, April 17, 2009

Surgery Date...

...Tuesday, the 21st at about six am. I met with my surgeon today, and a couple of other friendly doctor-type folk, and the game plan is to start with a small surgery that can potentially become a big surgery. Basically, even after all this time and all these tests, we still can't be sure whether this is a sarcoma or not. The chances are still really small, but because sarcomas shed cells, there's a pretty high chance of a recurrence if it's not treated properly the first time. So, come Tuesday, I'm going to be put to sleep and my doctor will put a couple of holes in me and jam a camera in my chest to look at the lining around the lung. If the pleura (lung lining) looks clear and healthy, and the chunk they're biopsying (biopsy while you wait, i guess they took me seriously when i mentioned i was heartily pissed about the last one) tests negative, the nice surgeon will go ahead and cut me open and scoop the tumor out. If it is cancer, I get put back together and will go through five or six weeks of radiation treatment five days a week for an hour a day. Fun times! The weird thing is that I won't know what's going on until I wake up. Jim and my parents and his mom will all be waiting outside and will probably know what's going on before I do, which is a little weird. Jim said he'd leave me a big note that said either "big cut" with a happy face, or "small cut" with a sad face for when I wake up. I'm going to get an epidural, and some anesthesia, so I'll need small words when I first wake up.

If this isn't a sarcoma, then I'll be in the hospital for about a week (five to seven days. i'm aiming to bust out before that, though. being a patient creeps me out), then my recovery time will be about six to eight weeks (jim keeps reminding me that that's the minimum. i refuse to acknowledge that. eight weeks is forever!). The vacation from work will be nice and I'll get lots of knitting in, but I will be out a paycheck. Being the young, invincible idiot that I am, I didn't elect to pay for disability coverage with my insurance. I'll still have a job to go back to, but no income while I'm not actually working. My dear friend Amy offered to put together a beef'n'beer for me a while back, and it looks like I'll be taking her up on that. It pains me quite a lot to be reduced to begging, but well, it's either that or not pay my rent. I think living out of one's car is generally considered poor form when one is expected to rest and recuperate. I'm going to try to con Momolla and Kate out of some hand-knitted items and whip up some myself. I'm also going to call around to some local places where I grew up and ask for donations towards a silent auction or something. Somehow, selling stuff feels better than just asking for cash, you know? I'm also going to set up an etsy store and sell some easy handmade scarves. They're easy for me to make, they look nice, and I'll be knitting anyway, so I might as well use the product for something, well, productive, right?

If all goes well on Tuesday, I may or may not have internet access for a week. Momolla will update promptly, I'm sure, and I may have Jim log on just to let you guys know I made it through all right. If all doesn't go well, you'll be hearing from me a lot quicker. This is one of those cases where no news is good news, so please don't panic if you don't hear anything right away.

I'd like to take a minute before I sign off to send some thank-yous out. Monique sent me a great little book a couple of weeks ago that made me smile. It's all about how to beat stress by joining those around you in perpetrating it. For instance, it recommends inviting all your ex-lovers for dinner at once. I got a great chuckle out of reading it, and I still go back and page through when I need a laugh.

RoseRed sent me a great package of happy. I actually received it a few weeks ago and was waiting to blog it until I had pictures. But well, that got shot all to hell. The package contained a beautiful pair of socks (some gorgeous, perfect hederas), some chocolate (what exactly is a violet crumble? it sounds good but i'm almost afraid to eat it. and there's some fair trade chocolate, too, called sinless dark. it's delicious!), a skein of gorgeous Noro that's all soft and fuzzy and just begging to be a set of handwarmers and some wool wash that will be perfect for my socks, which were worn the very day after I received them (i was wearing socks momolla made for my birthday, else i'd have put them on then and there).

I know they don't really read my blog, but my Jersey girls banded together and got me my first set of real, growed-up tableware. I have a beautiful set of plates and bowls and such that grace my table. I'm grateful for all the hand-me-downs we've gotten to fill the kithcen out so we weren't eating off of the bare table and out of pots. But it's so nice to have a set of dishes that match and are all shiny and new and amazing. And there are placemats to put beneath them, too, and dishtowels that actually absorb water.

Jim gave me dirt for my birthday. No, really. But I asked him to, because I've been wanting to grow things in our tiny patch of backyard since we moved in, but we just didn't make time last year. Granted, Jim will be planting my seedlings for me this year, but I have vegetables to grow and some great flowers to put out front and a border for the beds so that the yard looks kempt and clean and cared for. Perhaps the neighbors will leave us alone this year.

All the presents have been wonderful. I love surprises and I love the excitement of a wrapped parcel. But I also love all the comments and the warmth and the mental hugs and the caring you've all given me. I'm not glad this happened to me, but I am grateful that I have such an amazing support network to fall back on. If it had to happen, at least it happened when I'm surrounded by love and support and generosity of spirit. Thank you all for listening to me whine and moan and be melodramatic and grumpy and scared. Your encouragement and your fierceness give me strength and hope. I am truly in awe of the love and the support that I've been given, and I am humbled by your kindness and sweetness and humor. And the offers to do some ass whoopin' on my behalf are also much appreciated. If I need to call a hit squad for something, I'm set.

I may or may not be able to squeeze one more entry in over the weekend. I'm aiming to get my house cleaned and the beginning of my garden in order before I'm not allowed to move for a while. I promise that you'll hear from someone, whether it's me or Jim, by Wednesday or Thursday, though, if not sooner. It's so strange that I've been mentally preparing for this and now, finally, it's here and I feel like I'm not ready yet. The good part is that I'm not scared, I'm just straight up mad. This alien lung baby is hurting me, and it is so time for it to go. Gods willing, by the next time or two that I write, it'll have had its ass kicked and I will be sitting on the couch, enjoying some lovely pain meds while Jim does chores for me. I hope your weekend goes well and smoothly and is full of the kind of weather we're having for once.


Rose Red said...

I will so be thinking of you next week, and here's hoping for a big cut (sounds weird to be typing that, but it's a good thing hey). And lots of lovely recuperating knitting time, and hopefully you'll be having good weather so you can go out and sit in the dirt and the sun and supervise Jim's planting (bet that won't be annoying for him at all!!)

Glad the package arrived safe - violet crumble is chocolate covered honeycomb (well, not real honeycomb, clearly). It is dinky di Aussie tucker (heh!)

Bells said...

Oh Em. I'm hanging on every word. We're all right here - on the other side of the planet. Between Jim and your mother I'm sure we'll be well briefed.

You are brave and admirable and so surrounded by great people. You come from great stock and are really so fabulous.

Hang in there. Catch you after the big day.

Monique said...

Good news that you finally have date set. I too am fingers crossed for a big cut. Enjoy your down time recuperating. Glad you are enjoying the book. Great little snippets to keep you merry. Defnitely devour that violet crumble. It's my all time favourite chocalate. Big hugs.

Dianne said...

I'm glad that the date has been set and things can start moving forward. I, too, and hoping for a big cut and a happy face! I'll be sending out all the good and healing vibes I can. Big virtual hugs, too. Whoop Ass as needed, of course.

Roxie said...

Big Cut! Big Cut!

I got out my willywarmer pattern. If you think it might sell, I'll knit one for your Beef'n'beer.

Galad said...

Hang in there! Here's hoping for the Big Cut so it will all be over.

What goes over well to sell at a beefnbeer? We don't do those in Arizona :-)

Olivia said...

Hi Em, thinking of you here too. Let's hope it's a Big, Successful, Cut!