Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cuts Like a Knife (or Light Saber)

I had another meeting with the surgeon to consider surgery dates.  This time, the appointment was at his Chevy Chase office, not in Washington. By the way, Chevy Chase is not named after the comedian.  It gets its name from a 14th century battle between the English and the Scots over deer-hunting.  Usually they fight over soccer and rugby.

Even though I finished the therapy at the end of September, the tumor continues to shrink.  A small part of it seems to be detaching from the lumen of the colon, which probably means that the cells in that area are dying.  A little longer wait before surgery may allow the tumor to shrink more and save some of the surrounding tissue.  On the other hand, too long would increase the chance that those tumor cells that were "missed" by or resisted by the therapy will continue to grow.  The medical literature isn't really clear on the best time to have the surgery once chemo/radiation is over.  Some of the reports from the 1990's claim that it's 6-8 weeks.  Reports from this century claim that waiting up to 12 weeks is OK.

The standard practice in Europe, however, is to wait at least 12 weeks.  Maybe that's how long it takes to get into the hospital in their communist health care systems.  Over here (where capitalism roolz!), the highest bidder gets the premium time slot. So it helps for them to think you're associated with Chevy Chase (median household income of $160K).

Anyway, the plan is to have the surgery in early January.  The surgeon thinks that's not waiting too long.  The advantage is that I'll be able to spend the holidays on my feet and without Percocet.  Also, when the boys are back in school in January, I'll be able to recover at home without having to play Count Dooku in light saber duel against Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.


  1. I always wondered about how Chevy Chase got its name. (Although I always thought the comedian was named after the town, rather than the hunt-inspired battle.)
    Damn those Scots take their hunting seriously. Are they the same folks who now inhabit Virginia? (Yes, that's a shout-out to a comment of JoeDoc's.)

  2. Glad you made it out of Chevy Chase without falling down a flight of stairs.

    I suggest you get your surgery in before Harry and Nancy take over the medical system. Talk about a pain in the ...

    Lots of us Scotch/Irish here huntin' in VA, Bill! Well, so I'm told. The idea of taking out a deer with a rifle and a scope does not appeal to me. I'd rather take it's picture -- and dodge them on Rte. 15. Just don't tell anyone I wrote this... it'll kill my street cred.

    The force is with you, I-270!

  3. Sounds promising, tumor in retreat . . . enjoy the holiday and the Boxing Day matches . . . . a battle over hunting puts me in mind of 1st day of law school, first class (property) and the first case involves "acquiring title to wild animals" -- a long-ago fox hunt gone bad (for the people, not just the fox) . . . and my thought "what am I doing here?"

  4. Happy Thanksgiving. Sounds like we've got soemthing to be thankful for with this news.