We were ushered in. He shook our hands and we sat down, us facing him across the desk, him looking at a computer screen. This time I didn't ask to see it - why, I'm not sure. Perhaps it was for fear that seeing in graphic details the enormity of what was planned might trouble me. He screwed up his face; no-one spoke. You don't speak unless spoken to in his presence. He tabbed up and down the screen for what seemed forever. I feared we'd come all that way for nothing. Then he lifted his head and looking directly into my eyes and
said: "What are we going to do with you?" - as if I might have the answer. I wasn't sure what response was called for so I gave none but smiled my best and most winning of smiles.
Technically surgery to remove the lower and middle lobes of my right lung is possible; whether all the troublesome tissue can be removed is another question. Taking out the whole of my right lung isn't something he would do. The mortality rates (after chemotherapy) of complete lung removal are too high. It's all do to with the damage that chemotherapy itself does to the lung tissue. The complication rates for taking out two lobes is very low under normal circumstances (without chemo); the stats on taking out two lobes after chemo aren't available as it happens so rarely.
Had he done it before? "Oh yes," he said with no hesitation. He has not lost a patient doing it. But of course there are risks, as with any surgery. And whether or not it will effect a complete cure, only time and the necessity for a Zimmer frame will tell.
The date for surgery means that I get to go to the family wedding for which I have collected a two piece outfit, a blouse and a camisole from charity shops, a hat from Ebay and that impulse buy of sandals that I made the other day. All through this dates for holidays that we had planned, or other events, have fitted so neatly into my medical schedule that I'm almost beginning to believe in a supreme being and the fact that she might be smiling upon me.