This February I virtually met two of my future new BFFs, Erik and Cindy. Erik had recently been diagnosed with chordoma in his sacrum (lower spine) and his then current doctors Nincompoop and Dipshit had scheduled him for a ludicrously over-intrusive surgery. In the Chordoma group I co-moderate I know of only two other patients who had the same approach... the same one proposed to Erik at the same hospital. The group has 2,500 members in >80 countries and I only personally know of two. Interestingly in the USA the members are 70% women, 30% men. Outside of the USA, it's reversed... 70% men and 30% women. Chordoma impacts more men than women, so it's easy to conclude in the USA that we Martians don't like asking for support or guidance. Any-who, Erik jumped in to the middle of the fray and reached out to numerous sacral patients, including the two patients of Dr's Nincompoop and Dipshit. They were both hospitalized for 8 and 10 weeks, then inpatient rehab for months. I've learned that if you show me a surgeon without a huge ego projecting absolute confidence, I'll show you a loser. That said, surgeons who don't know what they don't know still press full-steam-ahead. I'm proud of Erik. He researched the chordoma in all of the right places, arming himself with knowledge to a level approaching expertise. He connected with enough patients in the group and amassed the collective wisdom of peoples experiences to ask his future ex-surgeons some superb questions about the 'why' such overly complex surgeries, adding that with UK group, the International group, the Ozzie and Brazil group, there only seems to be one facility on the planet that uses their proposed gut, de-bone, and re-gut approach. The future ex-medical team then softened and said they may not have to be so intrusive after all but Erik learned enough that he would go elsewhere to a team that treats chordoma routinely. He had his enbloc surgery (tumor taken out in one piece with margins) on March 9. Had he been a typical get-this-thing-out-of-me Martian in a hurry, he's still likely be in the hospital potentially facing 1-2 more months of inpatient rehab. I saw a picture of him on Facebook recently.
He'd driven to restaurant with Cindy and decided that deceived he was due for a shooter. Wait, what?! No lime! The subject line of his FB post was simply "I'm back". That picture is eye candy when considering where he could have been had he subscribed and accepted Plan-A, and how far he's come in the past two months... to the day.
Part of me too is thinking WIMP! He waived her off without killing the bottle :-)
Pictures from her blog... it's extremely well done and I hope she makes time to write her book... she's awesome!