Laryngeal cancer.....did I just hear correctly? C-a-n-c-e-r??? What is he saying...biopsies...surgery, ???? Is he kidding; some kind of scare tactic? That must be it. He's trying to scare George into taking better care of himself.
The sound of the surgeon's voice becomes background noise for my own thoughts: How? When? W-H-Y? Why him? Why us? Why now?
The words 'immediate surgery' force me back into focus.
The doctor is explaining that stage 3 cancer of this size and in this area is best treated by complete removal of the voice box along with 6-8 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. Today is Monday. He will do a final biopsy and p.e.g. insertion(whatever that is) before the removal. Be prepared for a 14-21 day hospital stay. Be at the hospital by 6:30 am on Friday. Before then there are all kinds of pre-operation tests and studies to be done. We have 4 days to get them scheduled, completed and get the results back to the surgeon. I know he's telling us more but I cannot comprehend it all. We nod politely, thank the doctor for his time and tell him we'll see him bright and early Friday. As the three of us stand at the receptionist's desk smiling and nodding, like friends scheduling a lunch date, I start to think ahead to what needs to be done.
I'm working full-time - how do we arrange for all of this? What do I tell our kids, our families, my boss?