Aug 29, 2011 - 11:41 pm
So it has been a little under two weeks since Jeff had his PET/CT scan, we all know the unfortunate freakout I had in the doctor's office when informed of the suspicious nodes. The oncologist told me to calm down that he didn't think they were anything to worry about, and that he was pretty sure they were in the surgical field. He said your husband still had "potentially curable disease" so please calm down. Fast forward to Wednesday of last week, we drove down to John Hopkins with PET/CT cd in hand and the written report. Two and a half hours of driving and the cd wouldn't open on the surgeons computer...arghh. Surgeon couldn't tell where the lymph nodes were by reading the report, he told us he would get his radiologist to open the cd and get back to us. The understanding was that if the nodes were not in his surgical field that we would have to have a biopsy first. So almost four business days go by and no word from the surgeon, despite calling many times, I am not good at waiting, which is unfortunate for me since cancer seems to be a game of waiting. I had about given up hope he would ever call us back.
We had decided to take this week off before the presumed surgery to spend time together and have some fun for once before the summer was over. I have to say that not knowing whether Jeff was a surgical candidate was really starting to bring down the vacation. Anyway, we had to go back to PENN to get an EKG and some blood test reports, told we would need this for either the biopsy or the surgery so minus well get it out of the way. We had a very nice conversation with our nurse practitioner around having hope and not letting ourselves get caught in negativity, she said this is one surgeons opinion, there are other surgeons out there. She said the oncologist said Jeff is strong and relatively young, and if he wants to fight this with all he has then they would support that and be aggressive (meaning if we did have a biopsy and we didn't hear what we wanted to). It was reassuring to hear her say that they would not give up on Jeff if he would still want to throw everything at it, from what I have read it can be hard to find doctors who are really willing to fight stage 4 EC.
Ok, I got off point there for a minute. After Penn I decided that we needed to make the most of what was left of vacation day 1. And this is where the day took an awesome turn for the better. First we went home and grabbed our three dogs and headed to the dog park. Our one dog has aggression issues ( I know weird, he lives with two other dogs and has never ever been aggressive with them), the park can be stressful if other dogs are around. Well today, no dogs in sight, they had the whole park to themselves for well over 1/2 an hour. We had to cut it short because we had plans to go out for dinner and a movie. We got cleaned up and went for sushi, we love this place great food. Jeff ate a ton of food, and I kept commenting on how they kept playing one great song after the next, it was really enjoyable. Then we headed for the movies, that is when I noticed the sunset. This was a real thing of beauty, deep purples, bright fuscias, brilliant oranges, just gorgeous and we don't get too many of these in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I surprised Jeff and pulled over on the way to the movies to just enjoy the sunset, we took some pictures, held hands and sat there in silence. Very calming, something we needed. Time for the movies, so I pull out of the spot and start down the road...and here is where the story gets really GOOD. My cell phone rings, it is 8pm and I am not expecting a call. I check caller id and it is a Baltimore area code, answer and it is the surgeon. I hand the phone to Jeff and basically start hyperventilating. Jeff is talking to him and I am holding my breath, then I hear things like "that is great news", "oh wow fantastic", and "ok great thanks for calling". He hangs up and says "surgery is on, the nodes are in the surgical field". I pulled into the movie theater and completely lost it. I never thought I would be so happy to hear that my husband could have a MAJOR surgery! We laughed and cried and called family and friends. What a great day, and to top it off we went into the theater and there were all these annoying teenagers talking over the previews. Right as the movie was about to start they all got up and walked out, and didn't return to interrupt again. My husband said that he thinks the sunset was a message, and I have to agree, the surgeon literally called about 20 seconds after we pulled away. Life is made up of brief wonderful moments and that was one of them for sure!!
So after all of this rambling if you are still reading along dear friends Jeff's surgery will be on September 6th, next Tuesday. Until then we plan to live it up on vacation, tomorrow we head to Hershey Park for a few thrills and spills :)
One crazy, beautiful, wonderful, fantastic, much needed, blessed day :)
Thoughts and prayers for those of us who are still waiting to hear about surgery and biopsies, my prayers are with you and yours.