A few days ago, Patrick was sitting at the table with our oldest while I was finishing making lunch in the kitchen. We started talking. We were talking about our frustration with getting a date set for the surgery. Then, he brought up the fact that if we had stuck with the original doctor our dentist referred us to, we wouldn't have even had an appointment yet. Furthermore, we would have to wait a week past that day for the biopsy results. He proceeded to say that he probably would have canceled his appointment because the spot seemed to be getting smaller and less irritating. Truly, a hidden blessing that the cards played out the way they did. That we ended up with Dr. D. I gasp at the thought of not catching this nasty disease as early as we have.
As it turns out, all this waiting has had a few benefits. (I never dreamed I'd be able to use that word when describing this journey.) While waiting for appointments, a surgery date, and insurance information we've been able to get our ducks in a row, so to speak. Patrick and I have used some of this time to go over a few household things that will need to be taken care of while he's recovering. He wanted to make sure I was comfortable with all of our finances and knew where certain important papers are kept incase the worst does happen. Not a conversation I wanted to have, but it was the responsible thing to do. Also, with these extra few days, I've been calling on our support system to help with childcare, cleaning, and a few meals. I'm one that likes to plan, so getting these wrinkles ironed out is helpful.
Also while waiting, I've had time to do a bit more research about Dr. D. I thought I was impressed before. My socks about slid off my feet during my last bit of reading on the man. His credentials are outstanding, abilities amazing, and he comes highly recommended. I will now shed a little of the worry I bestow as we approach surgery day. I believe in Dr. D. and know that Patrick will be in good hands.
All of this waiting time has allowed us to confront our emotions head on. I'm certain I've gone through each stage; denial, anger, and now acceptance. Once we passed through the hoop of initial shock, released our anger, and let our emotions flow, we've come to accept where we are. That is not to say that we are happy or okay with being here, but we accept that we are on this journey. We accept that it's going to be tough. We accept that it's going to painful. We accept the emotional toll. We accept that it won't be easy, but we'll come out on the other side stronger. It feels good to accept this journey.
This morning we dropped our oldest off at a friend's house to play while we headed to Dr. V.'s office. Dr. V. is a plastic, reconstructive, microvascular, hand, cosmetic surgeon. If I had enough energy, I'd try to say that five times fast. But, I don't, so I'll keep typing. His list of credentials are long, and I feel confident in his skills and what he does. That coupled with a great bedside manner and I feel like we've hit a home run with our team of surgeons. Dr. V. will be assisting Dr. D. in the operating room. His task will involve taking a skin graft and vein from Patrick's wrist and arm and connecting the tissue to his tongue. While Dr. D. has Patrick's neck open, known as a dissection, to remove some lymph nodes, Dr. V. will connect the vein to another in Patrick's neck so the transplanted tissue will receive blood flow. The appointment today was our last step in the pre operation process. It seems like we've been waiting weeks, when in reality it's only been days, for a surgery date to be scheduled. Now we've got one, thankfully.
Diagnosis date: January 19th
Surgery date: February 7th