Monday I had a Bronchoscopy to implant gold seeds into the tumor in the middle of my chest. The regular Bronchoscopy is used to retrieve things aspirated into the lungs, for biopsies (which I had done in February) and other things. For this procedure the plan was to stick a needle/cord down my esophagus, puncture through the trachea and implant the gold seeds into the tumor in the sub-carinal area—or the place between my lungs, near the heart and under the sternum. (This is my understanding of all their big words, please keep this in mind). The gold seeds need to be in place so the stereo tactic radiation will be able to locate the seeds and target them during the radiation process. Well, my Pulmonologist Dr. Chris Anderson is wonderful. He told me beforehand that this procedure has only been done once in Utah—and only a few times throughout the country. I’d had a bronch before, so I really wasn’t that worried. It’s good that we forget things.
What I forgot was that they make you breathe this terrible numbing stuff and then give you Verced (spelling?) so you’re awake through the entire procedure, and you feel it, but hopefully you just don’t remember it. I was lucky because I didn’t remember the actual procedure. However my therapist from the Cyber Knife, a friend from my neighborhood (the respiratory therapist), an old friend from South Ogden (the RN), and Dr. Anderson were all keenly aware of what was happening.
When you wake up from a procedure and everyone is looking at you like, “I’m so sorry,” you feel really weird. That’s how they were all acting. Some even left and didn’t even want to face me. Ward wasn’t able to be there this time, but he said that watching a bronch is completely disturbing. They were all feeling and acting strange because after everything the procedure didn’t work. No matter how hard Dr. Anderson tried he couldn’t get the gold seeds to imbed in the tumor. It was really frustrating and compounded by the fact that nobody would look me in the eye—except Dr. Anderson. So he made arrangements for me to go in next week and have the gold seeds surgically placed in the OR. They’ll put me completely out. Tuesday I talked to my therapist from the Cyber Knife and he couldn’t believe that I was actually calling. He kept saying “Are you sure you’re okay?” I was. I have to be. There’s too much to do to be lying around right now. This whole episode pushes all the radiation back until after Christmas.
Sometimes I feel like this really isn’t my life, and for the most part I try to make sure it isn’t my entire life. Still things like the Drs. rereading the scans and saying this is a lot different than we thought. This is bigger than we had originally planned—make me want to scream. I’m so grateful I have Ward and the girls to take me away. Ward has enough with his business to keep me and 10 other people busy. Being a mom is always a distraction from the big elephant in the corner. I’m grateful for my writing group, and my new friend Brodi, and the Young Women who all give me something happy and exciting to think about. I’m so grateful for sisters and brothers and moms & dads on both sides that talk to me and help me to find joy in every day. (Thanks for getting married tomorrow Wendell!). I’m even thankful for the stomach flu today, McCady. That’s proved to be quite the distraction. Tonight I hope to go shopping. I’m going to play Christmas Music really loud in the car and just remember what’s really important at this time of year. Today I wish you beautiful music, a light snow storm and lots and lots of Christmas chocolate. Doesn't that sound good?
11 months ago