May 1, 2018 Pre-surgical Testing and Lunch in Manhattan

I am going through my 20,046 photos and 629 videos and thought that I would use a quick post as a good way to delete some pictures. I am still trying to figure out how I have 629 videos, but I think that might be due to accidentally having my iPhone camera setting on video instead of photo!

Anyway May 1st, Steve and I took the train to Manhattan to see Dr. Boland before the surgery to remove the myxoma in my thigh. He is a surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. When my thingamajig in my thigh was discovered in February 2017, we were able to get a second opinion with Dr. Boland. Sloan doesn’t just see anyone, we had to have pathology reports and a diagnosis first. My specialness was confirmed with the diagnosis of a myxoma-only one in a million people get them. Surprise! Once I was accepted into the Sloan system it was decided to have my surgery there instead of back home in Poughkeepsie.

After following my myxoma for over a year, Dr. Boland decided to remove it. We just had to stop traveling for a while! So after our trip to The Maldives, Argentina and Abaco, we were finally in one place long enough for me to have surgery and recover. So a date in May was picked for the surgery. I already described the Excellent Surgery Adventure in a previous post.

Pre Surgical Testing was scheduled and we met with the doctor first. We were unsure if I would actually have surgery as the last MRI showed a decrease in size of the myxoma. We were happy that Dr. Boland still wanted to do the surgery, he thought the size discrepancy could have been due to measurement error. He explained the surgery and we were off to get chest x-rays, blood draw and EKG’s. Blood draws are my favorite part. I have great veins for phlebotomists to use. Steve accuses me of suffering from veinity. Ha Ha.

After that was over we were free to go to lunch and then home. We picked Avena on E. 57th Street. We sat upstairs, the first time we were there we ate downstairs. Like most NYC restaurants it was quite small. Upstairs was nice and since it was a beautiful day we could look outside. We picked the prix fixe lunch special. Steve had the Green pea Veloute with roasted flying squid! Hmm, that sounds interesting now doesn’t it! It was a strange choice for Steve as he does not like mollusks. But he does like Green peas. Presentation was the way I like it, except this time it was a little backward. Soup first and then squid was ladled in, unlike the restaurant at The Union League where I got vegetables and then soup was poured on.

Here it is with the squid in it. Now doesn’t that just make you want to gag! Steve says the addition of the squid was not a value add at all! I was SMART and had the seasonal greens with air dried cured beef. A much more sensible choice. However as Steve has a condition where iron is stored in the body he has to limit his beef intake. A real bummer to my diet, as this means we don’t get to eat a lot of steak now. For his entree Steve had homemade Fettuccini with wild mushrooms. Just looking at the dish now, I can understand why Steve had indigestion later in the day. It looks a wee bit greasy to me. Too much truffle oil perhaps!My entree was salmon on a potato galette. Much easier to digest. Steve had two small balls of pistachio ice cream. I upgraded my dessert for an extra $4 and got the semifreddo Tangerine compote with pistachio pralines and warm meringue. It was delicious.

I don’t think we will go to the restaurant again as, the food was a little too rich for Steve. I thought it was great. As long as I gave Steve goo goo eyes 👀 and didn’t look at Steve’s choices I was fine!

Do you have good veins?

Do you think squid 🦑 are disgusting?

How much of an up charge would you pay for a dessert?

Sunday May 6, 2018 A Pre-surgery Adventure, NYC

A month after our trip to Chile and Ecuador in January 2016 I got a blood clot. We weren’t sure what the reason was, although we did have ten flights in 23 days of traveling. I had a clot 29 years ago when I was given doctor’s orders for bed rest when I was pregnant with our son. We had traveled a lot in between over the years and really didn’t think that it was just the multiple flights last January. While at the hospital I had a CAT scan to see if I had what is called May Turner Syndrome, a narrowing of the veins in the thigh. I was all clear on that, but the doctors did discover a lump in my thigh. It was pretty big, the size of an egg, and really is not something most people walk around with. There was a possibility that the lump was pressing against my veins, causing the disruption of the blood flow and therefore the clot. The doctors in Poughkeepsie thought it was a Myxoma, which is a benign lump that only one in a million people get. Did you expect me to get something normal like a boil or ingrown hair? Of course not, I am special. A biopsy was done, and the reports came back that it was benign. We were lucky to have a doctor at Sloan Kettering think that my case was interesting enough to be seen. So since last March I have been getting MRIs in Poughkeepsie and then traveling back to see Dr. Boland every three months for observation. Meanwhile I was put on Xarelto to prevent further blood clots. I also had a number of genetic tests done and it was found that I do have a gene causing a predisposition for clotting. Was the recent clot caused by the trips, the clot in 1989, the Myxoma, or the genes that I have? We may never know the answer to that question.

In January 2018 we had seen Dr. Boland, and we was a little bit concerned that the Myxoma had grown quite a bit since the time we last saw him in October. We arranged for me to have the surgery to remove the Myxoma in May, after our trips to the Maldives, Argentina, and Abaco. We made sure that we flew business class and that I wore support stockings on the flights. Well, except for the trip to Abaco as we flew Jet Blue, and they didn’t have Business Class. But I did get the seats with more leg room. We had excellent adventures as you have already read most of them.

In late April I had my last MRI. The Myxoma had decreased in size, which was great, and we were worried that the Doctor would cancel surgery when we saw him last week. Although the Myxoma had shrunk, it was enhancing a bit more after I had been injected with dye. This wasn’t so good, and by now the Doctor was getting more frustrated with the Myxoma, and agreed that even though it had shrunk and none of us were able to palpate it ourselves and feel it, it was good bye Myxoma time.

So here I am, the day before surgery. Steve and I had a great morning, he made me great scrambled eggs and we went to the gym, in between my packing and loads of laundry. By late afternoon we were ready to drive to Manhattan where we would stay overnight at the apartment of our kind friends. As we were leaving home, I went to put on my slicker and found out that I had brought the wrong jacket home from the gym. Alas, I had a orangey red EMS men’s medium slicker instead of my bright red Patagucci (Patagonia for those who are not hip like I am) rain jacket. So it was off to the gym we went, hoping that my jacket was still there. It was, and I returned the other jacket, shaking my head over my operator error.

We then drove to Manhattan. There were many traffic jams, due to the five borough bike race and Sunday afternoon traffic. We ended up driving through Harlem, and down 1st Avenue. We finally made it to the apartment, dropped our bags off with the Door Man and drove up to Sloan to find a parking garage. Of course we neglected to look at our phones to find the parking garage nearest the hospital and drove around blindly. We almost parked in another hospital’s valet parking. Finally we found a garage near the hospital, where the car will stay until I am released. Only $60 a day! Steve will probably find a better alternative while I’m in the hospital.

We walked to a restaurant highly recommended by our friends. It is called Neary’s. Here is Steve out front. Neary’s is a favorite of Kathie Lee Gifford. She used to talk about it a lot when I used to watch Regis and Kathie Lee. While we were waiting for our table we saw a gentleman who from the rear looked an awful lot like my Doctor. He got up and headed to the bar. It was him! “Dr. Boland”, I said, “How nice to see you! I am looking forward to my surgery with you tomorrow!” He looked a little confused, and then recognized me. I met his wife, a lovely woman. He told me to eat a light dinner.

Here are the rolls we had. I already ate one before I took the picture. Here I am, beaming with excitement. Looks like George Bush ate here also. Steve was excited about the mayoral proclamation on the wall behind me. Steve does like a good proclamation.I had the trout, with a baked potato. Steve had the barbecued chicken. No desserts for us, as I was supposed to eat lightly, per Doctor’s orders. We met the owner as he came to visit all the tables. That is a job that would be great for me! We told him that I was going to have surgery tomorrow and that Dr. Boland across the room was doing my surgery. He said that I was in great hands, and that Dr. Boland was the best surgeon.

Soon it was time to leave. Good bye Neary’s, Good bye Dr. Boland and lovely wife. Sorry we didn’t get to see you Kathie Lee, maybe next time!We made it up to the apartment. Sorry, no pictures. I know where to draw the line, between public and private. Especially someone else’s private.

Wish the surgeon steady hands, wish me speedy healing and the chance for an upgraded private room. Would you expect anything less if I was offered a chance for an upgrade? It sure will cost more, but after my last two roommates who kept me up all night with the television blaring I am going into the bank account for this one!