"You know, I bet they'd move faster if I just came down there and held a fucking shotgun to their ear!"
If you know my dad, he's rather reserved. Teases me mercifully, especially if the nail color on my hands doesn't match the nail color on my toes. Is painfully intelligent, the painful part coming from him knowing it all and making sure you know he does. Incessantly. What you may not know is the inner turmoil he endures when my brother or I is hurt or sick and that it tends to burst forth in only sometimes justified frustration with his purported solution almost always being death. Not ours or his. Someone else's.
Today it's my doctors. All of them. They haven't moved quickly enough, do they know who they're dealing with, why am I not lighting fires (and I think he means real ones?) under their asses and violence is really the only way to get this moving along. Luckily, I tend to disagree with the latter part (don't hold me to that statement) and today finally felt like perhaps a plan is being set into motion.
I had a great video appointment with Dr. Carlos Corvera, the chief of surgical oncology for UCSF. And he said the magic words for which I've been waiting for two months: "I can do this surgery." Now...those words came along with, "You'll lose half your liver but your other half will be more than functional (uh. Clearly this guy hasn't been to happy hour with my crew), I'll probably need to take this adrenal gland and close up the patch of your diaphragm we'll be cutting into (ugh please don't say cutting god) but I think I can save your kidney (hell yeah)." Dr. Corvera mentioned that it appears the tumor is only pushing my large blood vessel (of course my tumor would be passive aggressive) but if it's intricately into it or wrapped around it, they'll chop out that part of the blood vessel and replace with with a tube. Now that part may sound a bit unclear and it's because I blacked out a little when I heard I may be losing part of a major blood vessel.
All of this likely sounds like a big deal. And it is. The hospital stay sounds like it will be 7-10 days with no visitors thanks to assholes not wearing masks and going to holiday parties. And recovery sounds like my days of boot camps and Pelotons are going to see a delay. But the best takeaway here is that there is a surgeon who works with a nationally-renowned sarcoma tumor board and took a look into my insides and believes in himself. And while we don't know exactly what he'll see when he gets past my COVID-extra 19 layers, I finally feel some trust in the system.
So, next steps: I'll get an OR date, which are currently a few weeks out; during that wait, Dr. Corvera will check in with his sarcoma oncology team to confirm they don't see any benefit in pre-surgery chemo. If that happens, they'll move back surgery and hook me up to the life juice. Once the tumor is out, it will be subjected to a full mutational tumor analysis to determine WTF this is, where it's coming from and how to best kill it dead for all time.