The surgery I will be having is called a VATS (Video Assisted Thoracoscopy). This will be the third time I have had this surgery, all of which have been on my right lung. Basically the surgeon makes three incisions in the side of my chest that he can put cameras and surgical tools through those "port holes." This is much better for me then a thoracotomy, which would involve making one big incision between my ribs. After they make the three incisions, my lung will collapse, the surgeon will find the tumor which was marked with a wire and then cut out the tumor and the surrounding tissue. They will look at the tissue under a microscope on site to make sure they have "cleared my margins" which is fancy talk for saying they removed all the cancer from the surrounding healthy lung tissue. That is done by a pathologist, who is a separate doctor in a lab in a completely different building. Contrary to what you see on Grey's Anatomy and House, it is not just one doctor who does everything! The second worst part about the surgery is I will have a chest tube for a day or two. This helps re-inflate my lung and drain fluid and air from the space around my lung. It is extremely uncomfortable!
Having done this twice before, I know what to expect. However, each surgery I have seems to be a little tougher. This will be my 7th surgery and the 6th one related to my cancer. Sadly this doesn't even compare to other people out there fighting this disease. Cancer sucks my friends, it really sucks! With that said, my spirits are still really high. I am very confident the surgery will go well, and I am looking forward to rehabbing myself back into shape and coming back strong. I can't wait to write about my recovery and show you some pics of that process. I have gotten pretty good at rehabbing due to the plethora of times I have had to do it! I will find out what the next step is later this month. I have discussed the option of doing chemotherapy after this surgery with my doctor, but no decisions have been made yet.
I hope everyone had a great New Year. 2013 was quite the roller coaster. I have learned that every year is filled with it's own share of stresses, both good and bad. The fact is that if your stressed, you are alive, and that's a good thing! So bring it on 2014! I welcome all you have to throw at me, and if cancer wants to show it's ugly face again this year, Team Madonia will just have to kick it's ass again!
I will do my best to write updates during my recovery. I should be in the hospital for 2-3 days. Until then, thank you for all the support and thank you for the donations and support of Roswell Park from Team Madonia. I hope everyone posts some pictures of themselves to Facebook in their Team Madonia shirts when they come in!
I watched this clip hundreds of times during track season.
Still applies to this battle. Rocky gets me every time!