As I’ve been writing, I’ve been helping my brother deal with his cancer. Couple weeks back he needed to have surgery on his neck to remove the remaining lumps and lymph nodes. Many appointments were made and plans designed.
We went into Cleveland numerous times for testing and meetings. We were told all of the risks. There are important nerves that run down the neck and severing them could affect swallowing, talking, etc. As my brother doesn’t drive I spent many hours each day. Drive the fifteen miles to his house, wait for him to get ready (he was never ready to go) drive to Cleveland (25 miles or more), sit in a waiting room, drink bad coffee, see a doctor, wait while testing, drink more coffee, more testing, forget where the car was in the parking garage, find it, head home and do all of the errands he needs.
Most days were most of the day. Finally the day of the surgery came and we got there bright and early. We were there by nine, meaning I left my house at seven, and he was back in pre-op by ten. I went out and had a bagel and studied some chess.
Around eleven I was allowed back to see him. He looked pretty good. It’s amazing how much weight he has lost. He was upbeat and they sent me back to the chessboard.
Seidman Cancer Center is a great place. They give you a pager like they have in restaurants. I was able to take my set to the cafeteria and study. Every two hours they update. While studying a young doctor challenged me to a game of speed chess, easiest five dollars I’ve ever made.
He was in surgery for nearly seven hours. Then I had to wait for him to get out of recovery. He was out of it when I saw him and you could tell it was major surgery. I left at 9:30pm exhausted from doing almost nothing.
He stayed in the hospital for three days and he is doing well. The surgeon was able to avoid the nerves and the only side effect is he can’t feel his ear.
The week after was follow-ups after follow-up. Soon I will be free.