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3 Days Till Surgery

SEPTEMBER 25, 2013 5:30 AM

Surgery has been confirmed for Wednesday.  I met with Dr. Genyk on Friday and all is a go.  When I asked about any complications or concerns he said I hate to say it but your surgery is going to be boring.  Usually not very stoked when someone tells you something will be boring but when it comes to being sliced open boring is probably the best word one could hear.  It looks like it will be one slice down the middle of the stomach.  They will be taking a portion off the right side of my liver along with a few edges on the left.  There are still some decisions to make on two of the other spots with regard to being able to cut them out or waiting to do Ablation after surgery while in the hospital.  Dr. Genyk will be assisted by Dr. Lekht who will help make that decision.  I may lose my gall bladder but it seems I don’t really need it so if it has to go to get the cancer then it has to go.  He will also be taking out the node that is next to the illiac artery but he feels it has shrunk so small that there should be no issues.  Finally, he will explore down in my pelvis area where tumors were showing at  the beginning but are no longer registering on scans.   Looks like I will be getting an epidural to start off the fun followed by general anesthesia.  I of course asked about doing that in the reverse order but that wasn’t an option.  Dr. Genyk believes the epidural will help with the pain post surgery.  After hearing all the stories about how surgeons have no bedside manner I feel like I have hit the jackpot with Dr. Genyk.  Friday amidst his packed schedule I was able to take all the time I needed to get my questions answered.  He even agreed to give me some positive affirmations during  the surgery.  Of course I had to end the appointment with a hug.

Following the appointment with Dr. Genyk I headed over to the Pre-Surgery wing of the hospital for all the consents, blood draws and a chest x-ray.    It’s really amazing how anyone decides to go through with a surgery after you are told every little thing that could go wrong.  Thank you Anda for driving me to LA and holding my hand while the nurse tried to get my vein to work.  Every nurse looks at my veins and says oh you have good veins, look at that big one right there.  I then say they may look big but they will go flat.  Fortunately this nurse at least went with the small needle.  Even with the small needle she was sweating bullets as she tried to get it working all the while poor Anda had to endure my death grip.

Prior to meeting with Dr. Genyk we stopped by the hospital cafeteria to get some breakfast.  Of course there was nothing I could eat.  I find it so interesting that in a hospital they don’t have healthier food.  The place was bustling with doctors and residents.  It was a bit overwhelming.  Linda asked if it was like being in a scene from Grey’s Anatomy and it kind of was sans McDreamy.

I’ve had several people ask me how I’m feeling about the surgery and whether I’m ready.  I feel like this is the point I have been working so hard to get to and it is pretty surreal that the day has come.  In the beginning I was told it was unlikely I would become a surgical candidate.  Those exact words weren’t said but they didn’t need to be said, the writing was on the wall, but I never let that stop me from believing deep within myself that this day would come.

On the day of surgery I will be checking into Keck Hospital of USC at 5:30 am.  There are two hours of pre op which Jon will be able to accompany me.  Then at 7:30 I will be taken into surgery for approximately 4-5 hours.  During my surgery my healer, Sarah Martin, will be doing distance work on me.   My hope/belief is that when I wake up the doctors tell me either you were already cancer free or they got it all and now onto the final phase of chemo.  One step closer to popping that bottle of Dom!  Sarah is also sending me to the hospital with a case of specially energized water and coming down to USC to do work on me while I’m in the hospital.  Amazing!

Yes, I am Ready!


Sign ups for the friendship paddle have closed but the pedal is wide open and looking for you to get involved.  If you want to ride or help then sign up for the pedal at: Pedal and ask to be a member.  Once granted membership sign yourself up or send an email to let the organizers know you want to help.  If you have questions go to: FAQ.  If you still have questions let me know and although I may not have the answer, I will get them answered by someone.  

On September 8, 2013, I had the honor of meeting many of the past beneficiaries family and friends as well as those who have been a part of the friendship paddle over the years.  It was quite an emotional evening.  The love and passion everyone has for the paddle is something I have never quite experienced before.  The paddle has truly touched each and every person to their core.  It is going to be an unbelievable experience.


On September 9th I met and had lunch with the Captain of the boat I will be venturing out on for the paddle.  She is a local opthamologist and an all around fantastic woman.  I am honored to be traveling with her on her boat Athena.  Thank you Alan Watson for thinking of me when you saw that boat and taking the time to make the connection.  I truly appreciate it!  In greek mythology Athena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill.  Athena is also the goddess of heroic endeavour.   Alan thought it would be the perfect boat and he was right.


On Thursday I had the honor of spending some time with a friend who is also battling cancer.  She was receiving infusions at the Issels Clinic.  She is amazing.  The infusions are very painful but she is taking it in stride knowing that her tumor markers are coming down and fully believing she is doing exactly what she needs to beat the cancer this time around.  She’s hitting it from all angles.  She is such an inspiration to me and I can only hope that I can be an inspiration to her as we kick cancer’s ass.


Thank you Rich and Celia Griguoli and Scarlett Begonia!  Check out this fantastic deal at Scarlett Begonia:  http://centralcoastdining.com.   For $52(regularly $84) you receive two entrees and two glasses of wine from an exquisite list of local wines or  a freshly crafted cocktail from their full bar made up of small-batch, specialty, and often organic spirits.  10 percent of the proceeds benefit The Friendship Paddle.  If you haven’t tried Scarlett Begonia you are missing out.  Chef Joel Huff truly is magnificent.  Thank you Crista for all of your support!


Many of us have just returned to the hustle and bustle of school, soccer, homework, projects and more.  I know I am finding myself in constant movement so everything gets covered and completed.  I’m having to remind myself multiple times a day to slow down and look at my surroundings.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day hustle and bustle but for me that just isn’t what life is about anymore.  Life is about spending extra time with my family, truly cultivating relationships with friends new and old and appreciating every day for what it brings.  We miss so much of our surroundings when we are constantly running from point A to point B.  Life is too precious to fly by without notice.  If you find yourself saying to your children or friends not now, not today, maybe later, it’s time to reassess your priorities because you never know what tomorrow brings so don’t miss those precious moments.

As John Lennon said “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”

Hugs and Kisses





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