November 14, 2009

Our meeting yesterday with the surgeon

It went well. He took something like 85 surgical staples out of an angry red line on my arm and tested my range of motion and mobility. He was visibly surprised by how much motion/mobility I had and agreed that there was a lot to be said for being so physically active for so many years prior to the surgery.

Then he told us some good news. The margins tested clean, according to pathology. Whatever he took out of my body is out. They are still uncertain about what it actually was, mind you, but it came out clean and left nothing behind in my arm. He was delighted to tell me that. Oncological orthopaedic surgeons at Memorial Sloan Kettering rarely, in my experience, use words like delighted. I take that as a good sign. We are waiting for the pathology report to come out and we are waiting for them to first finish some further genetic testing to tell us whether it is a low grade sarcoma or benign. He said that even if it is a low grade sarcoma, and it might be, he is not inclined to order radiation which he feels, in and of itself, carries risks which might not be warranted in my circumstances.

So, on to rehab. I will have pain in my arm for at least the next year, he cautioned me. It was a radical and "difficult" surgery. I slept, last night, or tried to sleep, without the sling for the first time and I can attest that I concur that it will continue to be painful. It was painful all night.

But you know what? I am a survivor. I have spent 6 weeks wondering, each time I have hugged my 3 year old, if I had an expiration date on those hugs and if he would remember me. That horrible introspection takes a terrible toll. I think that I am going to need some time here. Even if the tumor turns out to have been benign, I am a survivor. But more than having survived, now, I intend to thrive. So, pain be damned, get me to rehab. I have a lot of living left to do.

And thanks to the guy sitting next to my wife and me at Doc Watson's last night (2nd Ave and 77th/78th streets) who, after hearing me share my good news with the bartender last night, bought us a round of beers. New York is a great place to celebrate life, as this lovely fellow reminded me last night.

Posted by Random Penseur at November 14, 2009 05:20 AM | TrackBack

Excellent news!

God bless!

Posted by: Christina at November 14, 2009 08:58 AM

Having trouble finding words to say what I'm thinking/feeling. Sounds pretty much like you've been lucky enough to get a second chance at life. Remember that each time you get a chance to hug your children.

Posted by: Hannah at November 14, 2009 09:18 AM

RP -

Just clicked back over today on a whim to see if there were any signs of life here, and am still taking it all in.


Fantastic news in the end, though. Here's to a speedy rehab!

Posted by: Robbo at November 17, 2009 03:05 PM

A huge L'chaim, RP! Absolutely.

Posted by: Jocelyn at November 17, 2009 07:02 PM

Hello after several years. Guess this was a seminal moment to see you're still writing. Took a little trip back through the months posted to catch up. So, will pray for your healing. And your peace. I'm getting some rehab for shoulder. The trick seems to be to put your head down and march into the wave even as it starts to engulf you. It really can't drown you even when it seems to intend to. Oh, and keep doing the exercises and keep doing them and even keep doing them some more.


Posted by: Pat at December 5, 2009 08:15 PM

Massage McHenry

Posted by: Massage Woodstock at March 27, 2014 05:23 PM
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