“I’ve got all my life to live, I’ve got all my love to give, and I’ll survive…” Gloria Gaynor
First, as always (and for the gazillionth time), I want to deeply thank everyone who sent us good vibes, prayers, and well wishes.
Much appreciated. And very humbling.
Thank you. It really helped get us through this dark journey.
Second: As promised, I hope I am delivering here the last update necessary for friends, family and colleagues looking for news on Michele’s health.
We just got back from the surgeon’s office.
And he carefully worded some very good news.
The surgery went spectacularly well. He removed a tumor beneath her breastplate that had been classified as “of unknown behavior”… and pathology confirmed it as a thymoma. A very rare tumor, with no symptoms, which we caught totally by accident (during screening for something else entirely).
We snagged it early.
For those of you who have been down this (or a similar) path, you will know how happy we were to hear it was entirely encased, with clean margins, when removed.
Michele is healing with amazing speed — typical Type A Scorpio, right down to her cellular level. Impatiently forcing things to regenerate and get healthy as fast as possible, damn it.
The surgery was 90% of the worry, and it’s behind us. (She looks fabulous, by the way — no hint at all of the traumatic surgery and recovery she went through just a week ago.)
Now, we face a much simpler, and much rosier future with possibly some management, and certainly a lot of watchfulness.
We will see a few more docs, just to get opinions from all the right branches of modern medicine (including some alternative stuff).
But it really feels like we finally emerged from the scary darkness of a thick forest, into the bright welcoming light of a beautiful day.
As other survivors will attest, we will never again be incautious or careless with any health matter. We have tatooed “Ever Vigilant” into our memories, and while we’ll celebrate, we’ll also clearly hear what the second opinion docs have to say.
We have a new mission: Pursue health, gleefully.
This type of “Bad Boy” thymus cell isn’t like other cancers. In more common form of cancers, the nasty cells arrive looking like apes dressed in clown suits at a formal dinner — they stand out.
Thymoma cells, however, are like spies in our midst. They look like normal cells, and can only be identified by experienced detectives who know how to recognize the slight clues they give off in context with the surrounding regular cells. And you’re never quite positive.
In other words — there’s some gray area here.
However, the fact that the activity was completely contained inside the tumor — locked doors and windows, so no one got out — is the news we were yearning to hear.
There is still some healing left to get through, but we’re handling that easily.
We are carefully happy. Not gloating, not taunting Fate, not going back to carefree obliviousness.
And I hope I never have to give another update.
Thanks again for all the support, guys.
Live well. Hug your loved ones.
And stay frosty.
P.S. We really lucked out with the surgeon, Dr. Gomez. Head of trauma, just a gem of a guy to have discovered in our little city.
One of the nurses at the hospital revealed that he’d treated her without cost, with perfect care and follow-up. When she begged him for a way to repay him, he said: “Just follow your dreams.”
That’s a special guy.
Here’s to ya, doc. Thanks.
Best advice I’ve ever heard.
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