So, today we saw the surgeon, who, contrary to the information available about him on-line, was very helpful, very informative and very happy to spend as long with us as we needed. He’s arranged for surgery tomorrow morning to take a biopsy, though I suspect he may well remove as much material as possible at the same time so that any future chemical treatment has less to combat. On that basis I expect to come home tomorrow with a hole in my neck, a large bandage and lots of pain killers.
Once again I’m not sure how I feel about all this. On the surface I seem, and feel, calm, and yet this afternoon I found myself really snapping at my wife over absolutely nothing (and yes this is a public apology!), so, clearly, though the surface might be calm, there are swirling currents beneath and I’m not sure about their speed or depth.
What I did find difficult today was the physical distance from my daughters. Explaining something like this over Skype just isn’t enough. I couldn’t talk to my youngest daughter as she was out for the evening and leaving a message with her husband really isn’t the same thing at all – I’ve spent the past few hours imagining how she will feel when she walks in smiley and happy to be confronted by this. Talking to my eldest daughter was possible but it was hard to hear her tears when I am not able to physically reach out to her. What I do know is that both my daughters will be rooting for me and wishing they could actually pop round and visit to cheer me up but, that’s just not a possibility with 4,500 miles between us.
Today is the day on which the failings of the US medical health insurance process really struck me hard. Our insurance policy leaves us to pay 10% of the cost of doing this and I can only guess that it will get worse from here on in as, next up, assuming the biopsy shows cancer, is a specialist scan with radio-active material to check out my heart and then the injection of material directly into my bloodstream with the aim of killing the cancer. I am beginning to understand why people make the decision to forgo treatment for themselves in order to have money available for their children. It’s an invidious position and no-one should have to go through it.