feeling relieved on Wednesday afternoon


Eileen and I drove over to Grand Rapids for my consultation with my oncologist this morning.

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The appointment left me feeling more optimistic at least more than I have been feeling. I told my brother in a  phone call later that I was feeling a tad less “mortal.” Dr. McCachill the surgeon was very informative and encouraging.  Although my spot on my head is serious enough to warrant surgery, it is not necessarily certain that we are catching the melanoma late. From what Dr. McCahill said the melanoma could possibly be something that has only just begun to show itself. He said often the cause of this kind of melanoma comes from exposure to sunlight in one’s childhood.

He also said that he did not think my 6 month long rash was related to the cancer. This relieves some of my more imaginative daydreams of having cancer all over my body that shows itself in itchy red little rash (thankfully, this is not the case).

The surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec 11 at 7:30 AM. We chose an early time. Later times are more likely to get delayed if another surgery takes more time than scheduled. I go in the day before so that they can put some kind of radioactive solution into the area of my spot. This is an outpatient procedure as is the surgery itself. Then the next day they will be able to see how the lymph disperses in this part of my body. At this point, they are planning to check the two lymph nodes under the chin bone on either side for cancer.

Even though I don’t have a lot more information, I am feeling very much better about facing this.  It helps to meet Dr. McCahill and see that the clinic seems very efficient and friendly. We met him in a building near where the operation will take place. We went into that building today so that I could have blood drawn and get an EKG.

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The tech that did the EKG recommended a restaurant nearby when I asked if there were any good ones. It was Little Bangkok, a Thai restaurant. I was already thinking of it since it showed up on my phone.  We went there after the appointment, blood draw, and EKG for lunch. The food was very good.

I met with Rev Jen for our weekly meeting and brought her up to speed on the surgery. The nurse told me that I should be able to do a Wednesday evening rehearsal after this surgery on Tuesday. That is good! Rev Jen has been very clear that I need not worry about whether I will function during this period, that she and I will make sure someone subs for me. But, of course, I do worry about this. Loss of functioning is something us old people worry about (heh!).

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My piano student canceled his lesson for this afternoon. So after setting up for this evening’s rehearsal I have come home to rest (and blog).

On Wednesday afternoons, as I rest up for the evening rehearsal, I usually read the latest New Yorker if it’s come in the mail yet. I have been doing this today. The issue is titled: “New York Stories: An Archival Issue.” I didn’t notice this until I read the Frank McCourt piece and then turned to another article that was obviously from the past as well.

The Initiation of a Young Irishman, by Frank McCourt | The New Yorker

This is a great little essay. It’s hard to imagine being kicked out of a bar these days for not having read your Samuel Johnson.

Letter from a Region in My Mind, by James Baldwin | The New Yorker

Excellent piece by Baldwin.

The Louis Armstrong House, the City’s Most Intimate Museum

This is not archival. They are working on making Armstrong’s home a museum. How cool is that! I have read about Armstrong’s life and can picture this house.

I have recently been searching out archived interviews with Anthony Burgess. It had not occurred to me to do so before this. I am enjoying watching these. There seem to be a ton of them available. Buckley and Burgess, what’s not to like?

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