The only real question now is: when? Will I go forward as we decided this afternoon, with surgery next Wednesday, November 14? Or will I wait a bit? After learning of the preliminary staging assessment (Stage IIB), the potential dangers (including damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve, a nerve involved with the vocal chord and the voice and requiring oxygen to stay alive), and the 5-year survival statistics (56%), I considered whether the risk to my quality of life was worth taking. Maybe I should just live the time I have left without the potential of ruining my quality of life? It would be a bitch to undergo surgery, only to be damaged for the remainder of my life, which might not last long anyway. But unless I change my mind, I’ll opt to risk surgery. My odds of survival beyond five years might be far greater than the average, too. Those odds include all victims of the cancer who are at the same stage; that includes people who are in far worse health, otherwise, than I. So my odds may be greater.
Anyway, about the time; I’m inclined to wait, just so I can wrap up some loose ends. The surgeon can schedule it for November 19 or December 4. I’m leaning toward December 4. I have things to do beforehand. Decisions to make.
Regardless of what we decide, the diagnosis of lung cancer has upended our lives. We decided I should defer collecting Social Security until I reach 70, with the objective of maximizing my income when I start collecting it. That calculated risk may have been a poor one.
Election night two years ago was horrible. This one, too, is shaping up to be horrible, but not for the same reason. And although Democrats are making progress, the disease afflicting our country is just as insidious as the disease afflicting my lung.
I may feel different tomorrow. Tonight, I don’t feel particularly hopeful. My wife said she would support me in whatever decision I make (to have surgery or not), but that if I decide to have it, she wants me to go into it with a positive attitude. I agreed that I would make sure to approach it with a positive attitude if I have the surgery. I’m leaning toward having the surgery. I have a hell of a lot of work to do on my attitude.