Thank you for helping me to process all that has happened over the past week.
Over the weekend, my husband and I (and friends and folks posting here!) talked about a lot of options. Things like, if you trust a surgeon and something goes wrong, you feel like they did their best and you aren’t angry. We batted around lots of ideas and perspectives and emotions.
In between, I got a couple of significant phone calls. As I mentioned in the last post, my oncologist, who had been in Australia, called me, on a Friday night, from his car just after he landed from Logan Airport. He wanted to hear my perspective, then promised to work on this over the weekend.
On Saturday evening, my urologist called. He was the one who put in the first stent but couldn’t get the second one in. He spent a good amount of time helping me understand the path forward.
I certainly can’t complain about my medical care there. Wow.
In the end, I had more information to consider, but mostly, I felt much, much better.
Here is my summary of our conversation:
- Although the interventional radiologist is doing the next procedure, the urologist is managing this whole process. I didn’t realize that. I thought he had done his part and then handed me off to the next doctor. Of course I would assume that I am in charge! Now, I can think of the urologist as running the show and subcontracting this part to an interventional radiologist. It is a relief to know that I don’t have to stress over how to drive this program.
- The urologist plans for this to be a temporary tube. There is always a chance that they can’t do the stent, but that isn’t a decision for now. The plan is to do the stent, and he feels there is a very good chance that they can.
- The interventional radiologist is focused, not on the whole problem, just this next step. So he didn’t realize this is meant to be temporary and assumed it was permanent.
- Interventional radiologists don’t always have the best bedside manner. The urologist wholeheartedly supports me if I want to change doctors, but has worked with this guy in the OR and feels he is quite skilled. He also clearly said that if a family member needed this procedure, he would recommend this guy. So I decided to think about whether I can deal with the personality in exchange for the skill.
- The urologist is going to contact the interventional radiologist and make the program clear, that the next step is to do everything possible to place a stent, and make sure that he is on board.
That and your supportive comments helped me to get through the weekend. Thank you.
I apologize if this feels like I am taking you on a roller coaster ride. I don’t like that feeling myself. I was so, so scared, and you really helped me through that part.
Someone made a comment on my last blog post, and I will paraphrase it here. I used to walk around with an “unspoken innate trust that what is optimal will happen, or the sense that whatever happens will ultimately be workable.” I don’t always have that lately, but life at least is helping me to see that that is still true, so am hoping to regain that feeling.
So, the roadmap looks like this.
- I will get the nephrostomy.
- Roughly two weeks later, I will have the procedure to place the stent.
- If the stent can be placed, great. If not, then I can decide that maybe the bag isn’t as horrible to live with as I feared, or that I just can’t stand to live with that bag. If the latter, then we take it out and let the kidney go.
Although the schedule for the next five weeks looks crazy (every other week will have either chemo or a procedure requiring anesthesia), I can take a deep breath and get through it.
Thank you again.
But just to ask for more – I have chemo tomorrow (Tuesday). Please keep me and all of us in your prayers for an effective chemo session!
Love and blessings,