Ok, my nephew (posting as my sister, reposting on FB as me) gave you most of this, but there are a few additional details.
First, this is the best mental day I’ve had in a couple of weeks. Why?
When I first got checked in and the anesthesiologist came by to tell me what he’d be doing, the procedure was still a total laryngectomy. 15 minutes later, after the surgeon reviewed the PET scan results, the procedure was radically changed for the better. I ended up getting basically a through-the-mouth biopsy. They knocked me out (I lost about 3 hours), went down my throat with their tools … oh, wait…not a good choice of words. They accessed the tumor through my mouth both above and below the vocal folds (ah, much better) and took samples.
I woke up sharp, but don’t know if I had awakened a few times not-so-sharp before that that I cannot remember…I suspect so. Just soreness in my mouth and throat. They gave me a Vicodin let me go home after. My sister and brother-in-law brought me down to my “home” restaurant in Mansfield. I finished almost all the grilled chicken fettuccine alfredo. Going to eat a Klondike bar now that I am back home.
Oh, and the PET scan showed absolutely no metastases. The tumor might be very slightly larger, but that could also be accounted for by the difference in resolution between the CT and PET scan. So, it is not rapidly growing like it did over the Labor Day weekend. We have time to look at treatment alternatives.
So, no metastases + still mouth/nose breathing + back to my own bed tonight = a good day.
I still do have bad things (squamous cell carcinoma, likely total laryngectomy, long hospitalization and rehab) but for the first time in a couple of weeks, I think I won’t sleep like a baby. Because, anyone who has been around sleeping babies know that “sleep like a baby” really means waking up every 3 hours crying.
Tomorrow I meet with a radiologist, oncologist (chemo), and my surgeon to go over options. The surgeon says total laryngectomy, but that he is open to having his mind changed based on input from the 2 other doctors and the tumor forum they have every Wednesday. My doctor was skeptical about any temporary return to work, as he seems to think immediate radiation and/or chemo which would not be conducive to driving, high-level functioning, or keeping food down.
I was concerned that all the life and work planning I had done for a long convalescence would make me look like the “Chicken who Cried Wolf” but he assured me that those preparations would still be necessary. Even if he is swayed to something less than total laryngectomy, there is still substantial damage to my larynx that needs to be addressed. We’ve not had that discussion yet, though. Perhaps tomorrow.
Oh, and the only thing that really spoiled the good nap was the sore throat…but that, at least, shall pass.