I'm typing this from my hospital bed. Had surgery last night to remove a bunch of lymph nodes. This will make it more difficult for the cancer to metastasize and they will be able to do a histological examination of them to see if there are any occult or micrometastases that got missed by all the PET scans and whatnot. The doctor came in a few minutes ago and said that the nodes had checked normal on the initial microscopic scan in the operating room, which is a very good sign. It will take a week to ten days to get the pathology report back. Meanwhile, this is the first surgery I've had since having my tonsils out when I was four that they've taken anything out. I didn't even get my wisdom teeth out.
I feel better than I expected though, and even with all the tubes and things slept pretty well, if intermittently. It hurts quite a bit but there are these wonderful new things they've invented: pain killers, that are making things better (if not any easier to type) and I'm not entirely de-tubed yet. And even when I get home, I won't be running any marathons or lifting weights for a while, and I've got a friend coming to stay with me for a bit to help out. So all in all, it's been a good first step and the initial prognosis continues to look good.
Next, if the lymph nodes don't show any signs of cancer cells, I'll be doing chemotherapy next to shrink the tumour prior to conservative surgery. Which, in a weird way, I'm kind of looking forward to. I suppose there are easier ways to be interesting, but meh...I'll be taking the money I was going to spend on getting my hair done and buying a couple of hats instead.
Thank God Italian hospitals don't go of their way to make their patients miserable. In English hospitals, they don't let you have your computer or even a cell phone. Way to increase patient stress, guys, cut them off from their friends and loved ones. Good work there.
But I've been working up an essay on how the Anglo medical world has devolved into exercises in misanthropy, so they make up arbitrary rules to make sure that happens. They hate people and want them to be miserable. Italians like people and want them to be happy so they let you have your stuff with you.
I'll likely be out of commission for a week or more, but, well, it IS cancer, after all so, you know...