As Craig phrased it, I am the first fish to be filleted tomorrow, the surgeon's first case. I'll be there bright and early at 6:30 a.m. with husband in tow. My Mom and Dad will be there when I wake up. It's estimated that the procedure will be 1 1/2 to 3 hours with another 2 hours of post-op recovery as I come back from that familiar "pleasantly drunk" state.
I am ready and completely confident in the surgeon's expertise. I followed the protocols ... showered with antibacterial, pre-surgical Hibiclens, I'll be fasting after midnight and showering with Hibiclens again in the morning before heading to the hospital. I've shed all my jewelry and swapped my contacts for glasses.
Craig and I went out for a fantastic dinner tonight at Amelia's in Simsbury, cashing in a gift certificate I received for "kicking cancer's ass" - very appropriately timed because we're hoping that it's still down for the count. The calamari, chopped salad, and seafood fra diavolo should hold me over until I can eat again late tomorrow afternoon. I realize the spicy diavolo sauce was a risky choice ... let's hope I don't have that revisiting tomorrow. Now it's a comfy blanket and Sleepytime tea. I'll dab some "de-stress" ointment on my neck and ear lobes - the bottle says that it will "make the weight of the world melt away." Can't hurt to try.
I've packed an overnight bag with comfy clothes, bathroom essentials, books, my journal and Cubby, the stuffed bear I've been carrying around for just these types of moments since Craig gave it to me one Valentine's Day in college. I'm preparing for an overnight stay in hopes that that means it will happen. If I'm overnight in the hospital then that means that they couldn't find any abnormal tissue upon the first entry and had to take it a step further to find some. I'm even more hopeful that they won't be able to locate any even on the second point of entry.
But I'm not naive and I am prepared for the worst. I am mentally ready for whatever the results may be. Emotionally and physically may be another story, but I can work on that. As far back as my last treatments, I always had a tugging inkling that I'd have to have a second treatment regimen and the idea of a stem cell transplant has always been a real possibility to me for some strange reason. It is one of those gut feelings that I can't explain.
Despite that, I am still passionately hopeful, and I hope that my instincts are dead wrong.