Never, ever do you want to get the phone call that says "it's cancer." As one friend said, "it's a big club that no one wants to be in." Nevertheless, the call came sometime in mid February after a series of tests to rule out the possibility. "Immediately make an appointment with the surgeon," advised my doctor. It's one of those OS moments that you wish you'd never answered the phone. It's hard to get the worms back in the can after they crawl out and crawl out they did.
Two days later I'm sitting in the office of 3-inch, high-heel-wearing surgeon, Dr Richardson. (I liked her immediately because of her non-sensible shoes.) Heather Richardson gave me the once-over and ordered more tests after explaining the time line and procedure. (It takes a lot of tests to see where they will whack and how much they will whack-out. Note: these are not medical terms). Heather had been down this road before as she gave analogy after analogy, one including an elephant. That's all I remember--something about an elephant. (Always take another person with you for an appointment that involves a scalpel.)
Heather Richardson, MD. My beautiful surgeon.
Meanwhile, a lot of tests followed before surgery was scheduled for February 28. (Since I had a speaking engagement in Napa three weeks later, timing was important). You may know the surgery drill: arrive at 6 AM, sit in the waiting room until they call you, give you a bag to put your valuables in and try to relieve all your anxieties. Yeah, right. Naturally, I cried like a baby. The surgeon arrived (sans high heels) to see if I had bolted and to offer words of assurance. A few more "tests" followed before this cute anesthesiologist arrived and said I didn't look my age....right before he knocked me out. It was a good memory to hang onto. That's all I remember except waking up in the recovery room asking the nurse if I was still alive. The nurses said I was still on earth and "get ready to go home".
We're home by 2 PM to sleep off the anesthesia. Up by 3:30 calling friends that I was still alive. No doubt the drugs were working overtime. What's for dinner? Not that much (another part related to food will follow).
For the four or five days, I stayed on the couch watching wonderful TV. My favorite that week was "The Cat From Hell" on Animal Planet (for two straight hours). Smoke and Flash were not at all crazy about that show as they provided nursing care.
Smoke and Flash showing their nursing skills.
The next few days were a blur but I do remember loving ice packs. Also, I remember having some of the worst food I'd eaten in years. (I was not quite up to testing recipes and so we had to "make do" with the little we had on hand and my less than stellar planning.) I noted my appetite was not suffering even in my condition. I took this as good news; bad news. CC's appetite had not wavered either, ever.
To be continued..............The Food Brigade Arrives!