Getting ready for it…

Recently I’ve started a bit of a correspondence with someone out there who is just getting onto the treatment treadmill after having received a ‘qualified’ diagnosis of a stage 4 Metastatic Spindle Cell Squamous Carcinoma. I’m not entirely sure where it sits in his throat. This is not the same person who is dealing with the tumour around their thyroid…

In any event, one of the questions asked was about what one “should do to physically or mentally prepare for the quadroscopy or with the surgery when that time comes?.”

Right off the bat I can give one suggestion that the surgeon would really appreciate: stop any alternative therapy or supplements that could be thinning your blood or inhibiting coagulation at least three days before the procedure. Take a hard look at the extra vitamins, the iron supplements and stuff you are taking, including the apricot pits (laetrile) and the oriental mushroom teas for what they are doing to your blood. You don’t want to present a bleeding problem while you are on the table, either for the quadroscopy or the surgery.

Get flexible! The quadroscopy in particular will tax your upper body muscles. What they do, in effect, once you’re under the anesthesia is to adjust your position on the table so that your head is tilted way back so that your mouth-to-throat-to-esophagus-to-stomach is as straight a line as possible to make it easier for the quadroscopy tools to slip in and out, reducing the actual trauma to the tissues… But the way they position your body puts a lot of stress on the upper torso. Imagine lying on a hard surface with your head and shoulders hanging over the edge and you’ll get an idea of the effect. Lie down somewhere and try it for a moment (with someone with you to support your head!) to understand the effect on your musculature. Your chest is gonna hurt later (maybe next day). If you can do some muscle strengthening and stretching exercises for a few days prior, that would be a good thing. In my website, and elsewhere on this blog I mention ‘yoga’; time to seriously think about it. Also, on the day of the procedure, do the same exercises just before they wheel you into the operating theatre, to loosen things up.

The quadroscopy itself is more scary to contemplate than it truly is. The effects you will feel are the muscle pain from the body manipulation, and possibly a sore throat… This is a diagnostic procedure for discovery, not a surgical solution. It is not intended or designed for major impact to tissues through removal, or other collateral damage.

You will go to and return from the hospital the same day. But do remember that you will be put ‘under’, therefore don’t plan on driving yourself home at the end of the day…

Try being inquisitive with the staff; be ‘chatty’, friendly, maybe even funny if its a normal part of your nature. It will affect how they deal with you. A surly ass gets treated as one. The openly terrified get patronized. If you want to be treated with respect and humanity, act like you deserve it; don’t demand it.

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