I went home to Dad’s house and we both immediately had a drink. We sat down at the table; it was time to think of a strategic plan of attack. He was examining the pathology report, furiously researching on the iPad. (Even brilliant doctors have more to learn when it comes to basic things in other fields.)
The very first thing I had to do was call my mother. She was in Maine on a conducting sabbatical with very limited time and very limited cell service, so I was surprised she picked up. As soon as she heard the word “Cancer,” we were in trouble. I handed the phone to Dad; he knew how to explain everything. I actually didn’t even listen to what the doctor had said in my state of shock. And I didn’t want to hear her cry.
He talked to her and calmed her down a bit. Marian came home, and we continued talking about what to do. M and Dad discussed the plastic surgeons in their building. Marian decided that I should go with one of the guys because he was a bit better; plus, this Dr. B owed her a favor for something she helped him out with in the surgery center. She called the main line, and the lady at the front desk said they couldn’t see me for two weeks, and that would only be for a consultation. Not good enough for these adults.
No worries. Marian had him on her cell. She shot him a text, I got bumped to his next available surgery slot, which was a week and a half later, but before I was slated to start my new job—yes, these things always happen at the wrong time.
All was good. I went home and slept. I woke up crying. I got over it. I went to work and was feeling normal again until my cell started blowing up. “When can you get off work today?” It was my father. “He said he can do the surgery at 5.”
I hadn’t even had 24 hours to process everything, but who wants to process this kind of thing anyway? “I’ll be there,” I said.
I went to Dr. B’s, and he drew those purple marks around the amount he would have to remove. This would involve taking out a decent chunk of my ear. He would definitely have to do a skin graft, taking it from my chest, because my skin was too young to stretch. The problem was my inner ear and the complications with removing that. Dr. B took several pictures and said that he wanted to discuss this with his plastic surgeon friends. This was not going to be a lift and stretch and sew in-office procedure. No surgery today, and it would be much worse when it did happen. For all I knew, I would be deformed and not be able to hear.
I told Dad I didn’t want surgery. He wanted to go out to dinner, but I just wanted to stop talking about this. I went home.
The next morning, Dad called again. “I have another idea.” And this was still only the beginning.
To be continued…