Apparently they don’t actually have Ana on the OR schedule – there’s a waiting list and she’s on “standby” or whatever in case someone cancels. Also, he doesn’t like the quality of the PET/CT scan for planning the surgery – which, in retrospect, makes sense since she’s getting surgery on her pelvis, not lungs. He wants her to get an MRI or a CT with contrast (no idea how fast they’ll be able to schedule her for THAT). I’m smacking myself in the forehead for not asking that question to begin with (by now I know that an MRI is better to visualize the abdomen that a PET/CT scan which is done without contrast). Of course, you’d think this would’ve occurred to Dr. Yamashiro as well…
And, one final kicker, Dr. Middlesworth wants to speak with us about the details and risks of the surgery before he, you know, actually operates on Ana. Which is a good idea and why I sent him the email yesterday morning to begin with (we didn’t have any details at all). I guess it’s better then the time I showed up thinking Dr. Kato was going to do something laparoscopic and/or minimally invasive to remove the two tumors in her abdomen in February, only to be told that he planned to open the incision from her transplant about halfway (and turned white, and tried not to panic, all while standing in the prep room with Ana…)
I think this was likely a colossal screw up with communication. Dr. Y wants the tumor out quickly so he had his office call the surgeon’s office to move Ana up on the schedule. Then they managed to get her on standby, but someone forgot to actually tell the surgeon (he was on vacation last week). Good thing I sent that email yesterday morning or it’s highly likely that we would’ve shown up for surgery to the complete and utter surprise of the surgeon.
HI DOC, WE’RE HERE!!
We have a call with both doctors today to clarify all this crap. Ana’s annoyed because now she’ll probably have to miss the start of the school year. I’m annoyed because I was mentally prepared for this to happen. There’s no relief in postponing the surgery this time around. It’s even more nerve wracking because I’m worried about the tumor getting larger while we wait.
Even so, I’m glad that Dr. Middlesworth is being extremely careful about this. I suppose he could’ve tried to use the PET/CT to plan the procedure even without optimal visualization (like if I’d balled up my fists, stomped my foot and insisted). He’s in charge of surgical safety or something at the hospital and very committed to crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s. That’s definitely a quality I want in a surgeon.
I’ll post the new plan when I know it. Thanks again for all of your support – press pause on the prayers and well wishes. We’ll need them soon, but not this Wednesday.
Update: We spoke to Dr. M and Dr. Y at 10:00 a.m. this morning as planned. Dr. M. wants Ana to come in tomorrow for a CT with contrast (it’s probably easier to get that done on short notice than an MRI) and we’ll meet with him and possibly Dr. Y. afterward. He explained that he wants to see exactly where the tumor is and the recovery is dependent on whether it’s encapsulated or has invaded any bowel. It also may be close to her ureter, in which case he’d need to call a urologist in to place a stent in the ureter (he said this is so he can visualize the ureter and I guess not damage it during surgery). Um…yikes! All of this is so that he can keep Ana as safe as possible, so as scary s these details are, I’m glad that he’s taking necessary precautions. Also, he may want her to be on a liquid diet for 24 hours prior to the surgery (this is also to keep her intestines as empty as possible). Again..yikes.
Update #2: Dr. M’s office called and the CT scan is at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. We’ll meet with him afterward. I asked if Ana was definitely on the schedule for 8/29 and scheduler person laughed at me and assured me it was. I said, “He was freaking out when he heard Ana was supposed to come in tomorrow, wasn’t he?” She was very diplomatic. She said, “He wasn’t happy…”