Two Surgeries in Two Weeks???

Several of my friends have had major events upon reaching the age of 50. I thought I would be lucky and spent most of this past year bragging how my only “age-related” issue was this very early gray hair. But, now I join them as I hit these unexpected speed bumps on the road.

I’m reminded of sledding. Growing up in Alaska we had plenty of opportunities hike to the top of a hill and jump on our sled zooming down to the bottom. Some kids would choose to go at break neck speed but I was never so adventuresome and drug my boots as brakes. Now when the kids go sledding in Strawberry we use inner tubes which work well on the soft snow but there is no steering. Have you been on an inner tube and found yourself looking up the hill, speeding down backwards with very little control? That’s what this month has been like. I can see clearly where I’ve been but I’m having trouble seeing what’s upcoming. I know there are dangerous trees if I don’t stay on the path.

The pathology report came back last week. It was kind of a good news-bad news report. The entire tumor was removed but the final pathology report showed that there were tumor cells in one of the lymph nodes tested. Because of this both the radiation oncologist and the surgeon feel that I should have the rest of the lymph nodes in the area removed. Fortunately, these guys don’t mess around and this second surgery is scheduled for Monday, 11/22. Based on everything we have been told this surgery should be shorter but the recovery might be a bit slower because I’m just barely recovered from the first one.

Now you see why I feel like I’m zooming down the hill backwards. I’m not in control of things and this puts me in a position I’m not used to. I know: Let go and Let God… I’m trying.

In any case, I have had the best post op care possible. I am scolded by my parents when I do too much and they have been super busy trying to anticipate anything I might think I should do… The kids both worry too much and are being especially helpful. Bob has on his super stress hat which means that the garage is organized and this afternoon he is already putting up the Christmas tree.

We have also been blessed with meals and many offers of assistance. And you should see the cards, flowers, and other gifts… You can see one example here. It’s called a butterfinger tree! For whenever I need one of those pick-me-ups… Yum.

So we head into Thanksgiving week with a new perspective on life. We are especially thankful this year for our family and friends. The doctors have been very optimistic that because I am “young” the treatments will be effective and I’ll be good for many more years.

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