My angiogram was yesterday afternoon (I said in yesterday’s post that it was going to be today, but have updated it because that was incorrect). They did it around 2:00 p.m., and it went very well. No vessels required embolization, so the procedure only took about three hours. Afterward, I had to lie flat for about five hours – mostly dozing – then they sent me home around 10:00 p.m.

Some takeaways:

  • The nursing staff at Harborview are amazing. They were professional, capable, funny, and kind.
  • Needles for anaesthesia are big!
  • Lying on your back for five hours makes your back pretty achy.
  • Anaesthesia makes me queazy, but they have some decent drugs to help with queasiness.
  • When I woke up, my mouth was all dried out and felt like a squirrel had died in there. Sadly, there are no drugs for dead-squirrel-mouth, and lots of tooth brushing and gallons of water are only just starting to mitigate the issue.
  • Evidently, my right carotid artery is in great shape, and pumping enough blood into my entire brain so that if they had to “sacrifice” my left carotid artery during the upcoming operation, it would be okay.

That last point doesn’t make me feel super warm and fuzzy, although I suppose it’s good news. They sounded very cheerful when they said it, and if it turns out to be necessary, I guess it will be very good news, indeed. I hate to think of my poor left carotid artery (“leftie”) being removed.  I just feel like I might need it at some point, you know?

Still, if they need to remove things to keep me rolling for another few decades, that’s what this is all about. I won’t nitpick.

So today will be a nice day at home taking it easy, which is lovely. Tomorrow morning is the Big Surgery – we need to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m., and they expect the actual surgery to take eight to ten hours. If all goes well, I’ll be in the hospital four or five days afterward.

It takes four or five days after surgery for the neurosurgeon to get the comprehensive pathology report. They’ll have a basic pathology report during the operation, but really detailed pathology for the entire tumor takes a bit more time. Once they have the comprehensive report, we’ll know whether this is a chondrosarcoma, a chordoma, or something else. A low-grade chondrosarcoma would be good news, as these things go.

Thanks to everyone who has sent their good wishes!

9 thoughts on “Angiogram”

  1. I was surprised at how straightforward recovery from my angiogram was and how non-invasive the “entry spot” looked afterwords. Not too bad at all.

    Best of luck tomorrow. It will be over and done with before you know it and the toughest part will be waiting in pre-op, especially if they are delayed getting you in. Looking forward to hearing positive updates.

    1. Thanks, Ray. It’s true – the angiogram wasn’t terrible, and it was nice to be able to return home and spend time with my family the night before the craniotomy.

  2. Thinking of you lots and sending HEAPS of good wishes your way. 🙂 Love reading your posts and getting to hear from you. You are missed here!

    Go kick that tumor’s ass!
    (Do tumors have asses?)


  3. Mike Popham

    Thinking of you, kiddo — thanks for these updates which are filled with your curiosity and courage and good humor,

    Best of luck tomorrow and my best wishes to you and Abe for a speedy recovery.

    1. Hi, Mike. How great to hear from you! I hope you are doing well.

      The recovery is going slowly, but it’s a recovery, so I’m not complaining (too much). 😉

      I thought about you when we saw the latest Godzilla movie, and would be curious to know how you felt about it.

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