I saw the surgeon at Mda today. Our appointment was at 9am. We saw him closer to 1pm and then I had a pulmonary test at 3pm. A long day and a lot of waiting, but all in great hands and great company. My surgeon's name is Stephen Swisher. Sweet. :-)
I really like him and I wanted to share some info about him too.
Department Chair, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Professor, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Robert F. Fly Professorship of Surgical Oncology, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Dr. Stephen Swisher is Professor and Chair of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Internationally recognized for his contributions to the staging and treatment of esophageal cancer and innovative translational research, Dr. Swisher devotes his efforts to clinical practice and research.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Swisher received a bachelor’s degree in history and biology from Stanford University in 1982 and a medical degree with honors from the University of California at San Diego Medical School in 1986. He interned and completed a general surgical residency at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received the Golden Scalpel Chief Award. In 1994, he became a cardiothoracic surgery fellow at St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, both in Houston.
Dr. Swisher joined the faculty at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in 1995 as junior faculty associate in the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. A year later, he was promoted to Assistant Professor of Surgery. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001, Professor in 2005, and Department Chair in 2007.
Now why am I a canvas? Dr. Swisher wrote 'yes' and signed it with his initials underneath my left shoulder blade for my up coming surgery on Thursday, December 16th. He then gave Sean a “skin writing pen” so that Sean can touch-up when the writing comes off. Not for Sean to draw crazy things when he thinks I am not paying attention! Though he has crafted some incredulous ideas even for him. I am ready for this surgery, but I sure do have a list of things I (but I really mean Sean) will have to get done before then. ☺ Finish shopping, wrapping, start and complete like 3 weeks worth of laundry, sending out Christmas pictures…. Well the latter may never happen in all reality, but none the less its on my list of to-dos.
We will call the night before to find out what time surgery is. It will be a 2 ½ hour surgery. Dr. Swisher will make a 4 inch horizontal incision below my left shoulder blade. He will move the muscle over and go in between two of my ribs. This is the best way, because they will not only be able to see all of the tumors, he will also have an easier time getting to the nodules that are lower. I will be in the hospital around five days and then I will get to go home. There were other options about surgery, but this is really the best plan – to have two surgeries like this; one for each lung.
So am I ready? Ready as I’ll ever be! I’m excited about being another step closer to NED and I know that I am in the best of hands.
Positivity is Power!!