We saw the oncologist on Christmas Eve, and the surgeon’s NP on Boxing Day. The consensus is that it’s time for a lobectomy — surgery to remove the upper lobe of my right lung, where the cancer has been. The oncologist thinks there may be little or no cancer left there after the chemotherapy — possibly just dead tissue — and since it’s been proven, over time, that there are no outlying cancers, it’s time for surgery to remove what was there. The tissue/tumor is too large for radiation, he says, but contained enough to remove. And it should eventually improve my breathing capacity. (So tired of being short of breath!) Scary stuff, but successful surgery should leave me cancer free, and the remaining two lobes should expand into the cavity to give me greater lung capacity again.
The surgeon (the one who did my lymph node biopsy, highly recommended by the oncologist) is off for the holiday week, so I can’t be sure of the procedure or schedule until I talk to him on or after January 2, but the oncologist believes access to the lung will be through the ribs rather than a cracked sternum, and it will entail 3-5 days in the hospital afterwards and a 4-month recovery. Looks to me like the soonest I can get into surgery will be mid-January (after my Jan. 10 cardiac work-up, fingers crossed I pass that), and I have a show at Cooperative Gallery 213 scheduled for the month of March. Pretty close. I will probably need help hanging that, or worst case, may need to find an artist-friend who can take my place.
So until surgery I’m going to be painting like crazy — and maybe matting and framing as well — for the show titled “Other Times, Other Places,” with co-exhibitor Chuck Haupt.
Meanwhile, my 89-year-old dad is in the hospital with either an infection in a surgical site, or a gouty arthritis post-surgical outbreak, or both, following carpal tunnel surgery. Hope to see him tomorrow. It was so good to have him — and two brothers, a sister-in-law, and a nephew and SO — here for Christmas Day.