Yesterday Robin and I went to Georgetown University Hospital so I could have a biopsy performed. Given it was President Trump’s inauguration we weren’t sure what we might hit in the way of traffic, even though I was supposed to be there at 5:30am we decided to give ourselves an hour just in case. Inauguration or not there was barely any traffic at 4:30 in the morning. We got to the hospital just as the surgery center was opening. We herded our way in with the other dozen patients and their families to start in-processing. At about 6:40am we were walked back to PACU so I could get ready for the surgery scheduled at 7:30am.
After getting into the (barely big enough) gown and having an IV line started I began being introduced to the various people who would be involved or simply be present for my surgery. The hospital is a teaching school so it never fails that I’ll be introduced to a handful of medical students in various stages of their training. And yesterday was no exception. Seemed there were at least 3 medical students who would be observing and/or assisting in the procedure. The nurse who was prepping me informed us that I would be staying the night which was the first I’d heard. To say I was none to happy would be an understatement as I began kvetching to Robin about wanting to go home. My surgeon Dr. Marshall stopped by briefly and was in a silly mood. I wanted to know if she was going to try and biopsy the lymph node. I can’t remember how I phrased my question but she suddenly got this goofy grin on her face, while tapping her chin, and looking up at the ceiling, as if in great thought said, “Oh my, I hadn’t really considered how I was going to do that.” I sat there a little befuddled by her response as my wife and her began laughing with one another. Here I am trying to be serious while my surgeon and wife are giggling away!
Dr. Marshall, still laughing said, “I bet you didn’t know you were coming down here to be abused?”
My reply was, “I could have stayed home if that’s what I wanted, ” as I looked over at my dear wife.
Truth is Dr. Marshall was more interested in getting at the two tumors in my left lung. The lymph node is not in an easy place to get at and she had decided not to go after it. I was grateful to hear her say she thought I could go home afterwards.
The nice thing with being there at the early hour is none of the operating rooms have gotten backed up so I was promptly rolled into surgery right on schedule. Scooting onto the operating table from the bed I had been rolled in on I lay staring at the ceiling. The anesthesiologist gave me a little something in my IV and I could immediately feel myself relaxing. I had an oxygen mask placed over my mouth and was told to take long, deep breaths. I really wanted to see how long I could stay awake when I heard the anesthesiologist say, “Good night.”
9:40am I was back in bed 2 at the PACU trying to wake up. So much for trying to stay awake for even a short time. I had a dickens of a time trying to get my eyes to focus. Closing them I could feel the room wanting to spin – not good – so I kept opening them back up but everything was a fuzzy blur. I remember it being 10:40 the first time I could focus on the clock at the nurses station. Shortly after that I was moved to another floor to finish my recovery. Robin and I were able to head out just before noon which is what I had been hoping for the whole time.
Today I’m a bit sore, but only when I cough. Unfortunately I’m coughing quite a bit (sigh). One of the medicines they gave me is called Exparel. It’s a long acting analgesic. Basically my left side is a bit numb and its supposed to last a good 72 hours. Since the incisions were made between my ribs they are obviously sore. What I can’t understand is why my diaphragm feels like I got punched. I had to be intubated so my throat is pretty raw and it hurts to swallow but overall I’m doing good. Took the dog out for a walk and didn’t have any problems doing that.
Tuesday morning I’ll be meeting with Dr. Pishvaian to go over the results of the biopsy and (I imagine) get me scheduled to start on the immunotherapy treatments.