Okay. I’m back from the latest trip to the clinic in Hamilton and here’s what’s what.
They did in fact find the cancer – it was hiding in my right tonsil. Seems they got the sucker when they took my tonsil out. They were just going in for a look-see because they suspected it might be there, and lo and behold it was. However, since this was just your garden variety tonsillectomy (in case they were wrong I guess) they did not burn out as much of the surrounding area as they would have done if they knew for sure they were removing a cancerous-type tumor. And since the cyst proved little pieces of this thing are floating around in my lymphatic system, we must not leave anything to chance; so…
On with the radiation therapy! (Oh joy) I head back down Thursday next (Dec. 9th for those of you keeping notes) and engage in a day full of fun and excitement.
1st up – a trip to the surgeon’s at 9:30 am. (or 9:50 am – can’t read my wife’s hand writing and neither can she. Will have to make a phone call on this one Monday) to make sure the charred flesh in my throat is healing nicely. That’s right, we want to be sure that my throat has fully recovered from the last atrocity inflicted upon it before we subject it to another one.
2nd on the itinerary – The Man in the Plastic Mask – Act 1. At 11:15 a.m. our healthy, medically certified, and CLEAN-SHAVEN hero (me) arrives up at the Juravinski Cancer Centre to get a cast made of my face using a special plastic mold. This will be used to keep yours truly from twitching while these high-tech William Tells try to shoot a cancer laden apple off my head with an arrow made of radiation. If I flinch we might wind up with an outcome decidedly different from the opera. Ouch! (Yes, I’m mixing my theatrical allusions here but I really don’t care.)
3rd in line – Lunch. Apparently it takes an hour and a half for the cast to harden; during which time I am invited to have lunch, take a walk, whatever, so long as I am back for the second act.
4th item – The man in the Plastic Mask – Act 2. Once the cast has hardened we return to the clinic where a CAT-scan of me in the mask will be taken. This will in turn be used to plot out the course of my radiation therapy sessions and pin-point EXACTLY where those aforementioned radioactive arrows will intersect with my anatomy. Then the mask will be marked with the indelible ink targets, instead of my face.
That done I am set free to roam the earth until the actual radiation treatments begin about 2 weeks later (specifics to follow on Dec. 9th) I am told all will proceed without incident for the first few weeks of treatment, after which the side effects will kick in and I’ll wish my mother had never given my father his first kiss (or some other event that would have precluded my birth so as to avoid all this unpleasantness).
Well, that’s the sum total of the information I have for now. This should be more than enough for the prayerful, the genuinely concerned, and the just plain curious until we write the next chapter. See you Dec 10th.