My operation will be a distal pancreatectomy, meaning that I'll be lighter by a spleen and half a pancreas:
(Tumour not to scale?)
If all goes well the entire lesion will be removed and nothing else will be found. Other possible outcomes include the removal of as-yet-undiscovered lesions, inability to remove as-yet-undiscovered lesions, non-discovery of as-yet-undiscovered lesions, and the usual dangers of surgery and anaesthesia for which I have already signed consent forms.
A slight kick in the pants I received when Christi and I met my surgeon and some of his team on October 27th was the fact that my surgery will be followed up with chemotherapy.
Somehow this made me feel more..."cancery." Looking back, up until that point, while fully aware that I had cancer, I sort of saw myself as just a guy who needed an operation. The thought of chemo really drives home the fact that I have a disease.
On a related/unrelated note: you can fool a lot of people in this world, but you can't fool your mother; my brother Chris and I picked her up from the airport on Thursday, and it only took a few minutes to get from "hello" to "I knew you had cancer." There was obviously shock and tears, but I'd say she's holding up remarkably well. I think a great fear for any parent is leaving young children behind, but equally great is the fear of outliving your children - so I can imagine the swirl of her thoughts.
Best to wrap up on a happy note: my Interneting and TV watching is way down because I'm spending so much time with people I love.