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Handling Mesothelioma Surgery With Ease and Grace

WT-1 Vaccine - Pleural Mesothelioma

At 4:30am on Wednesday, February 12, 2012, I heard a voice saying, “Hey Kiddo!  Time to wake up!” I opened my eyes to see my Dad standing there, a smile on his face, just like I had seen thousands of times before. Nothing seemed strange, except the extra early wake up time. Once I managed to wake up enough to get my bearings, I realized that nothing was ordinary about this day.

I was not in my bed, but on a pull out couch in a hotel in New York City. We weren’t on vacation; it was the day of my father’s pleurectomy at NYU Langone Medical Center. Dad was up and ready to go, obviously nervous, but still doing his best to make me feel comfortable. He got ready first to afford the rest of us a little more sleep. Even on a day where the focus was on him, Dad put everyone else before himself.

We got ready, got in a cab, and rode the couple minutes to the hospital for his mesothelioma treatment. When we arrived, Dad was taken to the pre-op space. We met with doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, students, and other members of the hospital staff. My father couldn’t have been more gracious.

One scene of the day that I will never forget was watching my Dad walk to the operating room, high-fiving everyone in the hall along the way. When I think about it, he was walking into an experience that he knew next to nothing about. Sure, we all knew what the mesothelioma surgery was and how it was supposed to go, but there is always the element of the unknown that loomed in our minds. The difference with my father was that his faith allowed him to go into any situation knowing that God would handle it.

The surgery went exactly as planned, maybe even better than we expected. We were so blessed to be able to see this man smiling, relieved that it was over, but thrilled with the results. The recovery process was not without its challenges, but his medical team treated him like a king!

The memory of this day is one that will always stay with me. It was a huge step on Dad’s journey with mesothelioma, but a day full of hope, love, and faith. I am forever grateful to those who were with us that day, family, friends, and professionals, and will continue to keep you all in my prayers.

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