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Me, the Universe and a Great (and Funny) OR Team


Me having some soup before chugging water and apple juice post -op last night. All is good!

They got out what they wanted to get out. This means I go into radiation and chemo disease free. It is what we want. It it is what I have been asking for. For days, I have been saying out loud, as loudly as I can, depending on where I am (don't want to scare people or dogs) "I expel all toxicties in me and I nurture and love all that is healthy and wonderful inside me so I thrive!"

And, that's what happened yesterday. The Universe, Mark Zafereo (my surgeon) and who knows who or what else, working together. It's very, very good.

This is a mantra I am going to have to keep saying. Every morning, every afternoon, every evening!

That's the wonderful stuff.

Okay, now a transition to humor.

Here's some fun stuff from the pre-op (as they say in the medical world).

So first it’s just me, and my brother John in a little room where I am in a very attractive surgical gown and on one of those wheeled beds. A surgery physician’s assistant named AJ comes in, very friendly but quite businesslike in explaining a few things.

Then Imelda, the nurse, who we had met earlier, comes in, and it turns out that she and AJ both lived in New York and New Jersey at the same time and they already know I’m from New York.

So AJ says, “Well, let’s dispense with all of this southern politeness and get to work!”

Imelda loves New York—but she got sick of winter.

Then, Julia Diersing, Dr. Zafereo’s PA, comes in with another nurse, Valerie (never did get her last name) comes in.

There’s a lot of talking, I think Imelda is asking me around of questions about me physically and I mention (of course) that I just did a 17-mile run over a 13,000 foot mountain pass. Julia mutters "you just ran over 13,000 foot mountain pass with this cancer?" (I consider this a tribute to my toughness and a warning to this cancer) and Valerie, who has her back to me because she is going through some papers, says “Did no one ask you why you were crazy enough to do that?” Or something like that.

Then she turns around and says “I’m the crabby nurse,” and sits down next to me to taik about surgery stuff with Dr. Zafereo, “or, “ she says, “Dr. Z. Or, if I’m feeling Canadian, Dr. Zed.”

She is Canadian.

Then we talked pedicures. “Oh,” I said, looking at the socks they give you before you go in, “I hope you keep these on because I didn’t take off my old nail polish.”

Valerie laughed. She got two new knees this year, one in May, one in June.

“I got a pedicure for the first one,” she said.

“But I went in with the same old one for the second.”

At some point Dr. Zafereo whips through to say hi, patting me on the leg and then tweaking my (socked) toes.

And then Dr. Zahn, the radiologist arrives. He introduces himself rather formally compared to everyone else in the group, sits down at the computer to pull up yet another permission form for me to sign, this one about anesthesia, and then he gives me the option of going through it in detail, gives me a quick synopsis and I just say, brightly “I’ll sign it!” And I add, “What am going to do not sign it at this point?”

That made him laugh, I sign it, he thanks me and leaves, Julia and Valerie say they have never seen him just let a patient sign it like that. The anesthesiologist physicians assistant comes in to administer the anesthesia and he says, “Here’s your margarita!” Because we had been talking cocktails.

And when I wake up! There's my cousin Sarah with me, she's brought some really good soup from the cafeteria downstairs. And I am not hungover.

But we have to get Sarah into a spa, pronto!

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