I delayed writing this post until I was a bit further along in the process. Today, I met with the man who will splay open my neck for a second time and go hunting for some diabolical sons o' bitches--my lymph nodes.
That's right, the blip is back.
Actually, it probably never left. I distinctly remember the look on my surgeon's face and the tone in his voice when I visited him for a check up after surgery. As I explained that I was feeling well and adjusting to my hormones, he slowly nodded his head and made a face that, simultaneously, wrinkled his forehead, puckered his chin and made his lips disappear in a weird frown. He nodded, sighed and slapped his knees as he stood up from the spinning exam stool. "Well, I'll be interested to see what happens with you in the future." At first, I was flattered. I mean, it's not like I was going to see him again, right? What a sweet guy to be interested in my recovery and subsequent trajectory to awesomeness.
But . . .
As days went by, there was something about his voice during that meeting that left me unsettled. Something knowing. Something he didn't know how to tell me. Did I say something inappropriate while waking up from anesthesia? Did I have a gown malfunction? What did my mother say that I did not expressly authorize as acceptable mother/surgeon conversation? Shit.
Now I know.
Along with my thyroid, he took 20 lymph nodes, 8 of which were cancerous. His "interest" in me was his way of saying I did the best I could. I scraped out as much as I could find, but I can't guarantee I got it all.
The good news is, there is not much left to get. 4 lymph nodes lodged in the right side of my neck that were probably too small to see the first time around. I'll be in the hospital overnight and have a spiffy new neck scar for my collection.
The great news is, I now have the benefit of working for some of the best surgeons in Los Angeles. I would be a jackass if I didn't use my resources, so I rolled into my boss's office and said, "Say a girl needs a good surgeon. Any idea where I could rustle up one?" As only someone who chooses to slice people open for a living can, he was down right gleeful to set me up with his favorite scalpel wielder. In the time it took me to walk from his office back to mine, the email was written. 15 minutes later there was a reply, and 15 minutes after that I had an appointment. Boom.
The really amazing news is D.R. will be there when I wake up. Alice B. will rest her head on my chest while I recover on the couch. My family will call incessantly to make sure I'm alright. My friends will stop by, bring food, send messages and ask if I need anything.
I am, and will be, love smothered.
I just need to give my new surgeon fair warning about my mother.