Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Don't Hold the Mayo

 Adam and I made it back to Chicago Saturday afternoon, and we were greeted with open arms by his parents who graciously drove us down to Springfield. From Saturday through Monday, both families had a great time hanging out together trying to keep things light before my first appointment with one of the head surgeons we found here in town.

Monday morning...the doctor-ness fired up again. The majority of the day we spent either waiting around for the appointment, waiting at the appointment, or talking with the insurance company about the procedure. We're crossing our fingers there won't be any hassle, but who are we kidding. It's America, and it's health insurance. There's sure to be a fight somewhere along the way.

The meeting with the doc that morning went fairly well, and luckily he knew a snippet of French (at least a good 3 years in high-school's worth) that allowed him to interpret the radiologist's report...or at least get the gist. He also added that, thankfully, the CT scans were done very well, and that we wouldn't need to redo any of this at the moment. High fives to the French. Unfortunately, though, he told us that a tumor of this sort was not his forte, and that I would need to be shipped out for the procedure. Oh, my heart sank, but I was thankful he was truthful with us about his own hesitation. His top recommendation was for a colleague of his up at the Mayo Clinic who has spent his career on this exact sort of thing. That made me feel a bit better, but I was still in shock, like, whoa, the Mayo? That's serious the major leagues of hospitals! Sounded scary, but also a bit high class, ha. Within 15 min of our exam, we had an appointment set for next Wednesday up in Minnesota. And now we wait.


  1. Sending you good vibes Bridgette! My mom is headed over to Mayo in two weeks and I think she thought the same as you - whoa, Mayo..
    So great that you are going to see the top docs, everyone who I know who's ever gone has had all-star treatment!!
    Thanks for keeping us posted during all of this...we are sending high fives and hugs! Glad your family and Adam are able to be with you.

  2. Bridge - Mayo is awesome. They don't mess around and it's appointments all day, not just one a day. You're in good hands, I mean if they could fix me they can fix anything! LOL. Please keep me updated, I"m thinking of you!

  3. Hello Bridgette,

    Your dad and I flew F-16s together about six million years ago, or so. I have been working as an MD for twenty-five years now. Many of the doctors at SIU are as good, or better than some of the doctors at the Mayo Clinic - North (there is a branch in Scottsdale, Arizona, and another in, I believe, St. Petersburg, Florida.

    Anyway, doctors get good at treating things they see often, from their CATCHMENT BASIN (Yes, just like fish). My catchment basin is for all of South West Idaho, the SIU doctors mainly see patients from South Central Illinois. Because the Mayo clinic has been very famous for a very long time, the catchment basin for Mayo Clinic - North is about 150,000,000 people. So, they likely see more sarcomas that are wrapped around a kidney than any where else in the world (Yes, you are special, just as you have known all these years).

    Sarcomas are not uncommon. Tumors on or near a kidney are not uncommon. The combination is somewhat unusual. Remember though, there are many doctors and surgeons at the Mayo Clinic who treat people with sarcomas. There are also many surgeons there who are familiar with the anatomy around the kidneys - (renal anatomy). The experienced sarcoma surgeons will get together and talk with the renal/urology surgeons to come up with a plan for getting that mass out of your side.

    Your mass is retroperitoneal (i.e. behind your peritoneum). That is an excellent good deal, because Mr. Mass has not gotten a chance to come in contact with all of the organs (liver, stomach, pancreas, colon, etc.), that are pre-peritoneal (i.e. in front of your peritoneum). Your peritoneum is a tough membrane, like the glad bag or zip lock bag that the bear could not even smell through to nab the blue-berry pie, or dead fish or whatever.

    So, to sum it all up; sarcomas are not rare and tumors over, under, around and even through the kidneys are not rare, either. The combination of a sarcoma hanging out in renal territory is a bit unusual. You are going to see the biggest collection (conglomerations?)of sarcoma surgeons and renal/urology surgeons hanging out at a cafe on the right bank of the Seine in, like, forever. Yes, definitely the right bank. We do not need dopers, artistes or neurotic college students. You do need, and you will get the best surgeons possible. That is right brain thinking (am I right, 'er correct).

    Feel free to call, especially to get doctor talk translated into anglais, anytime. 1-(208) 495-2198. Your dad worries about you. He loves you very much.

    Hasta la bamba,

    John Charlie Noak

  4. If I wasn't an atheist I would be praying to Buddha very hard right now! But please know that you are very much in our thoughts and we are keeping everything tightly crossed that you get better soon. I am confident that you are in the very best hands at Mayo and you will be home safe and sound with your loving fiance and family soon.