browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Scoping for Cancer

Posted by on April 27, 2010

A visit to my cancer surgeon is always bittersweet. I love the guy and the interaction I have with him is special. However, the manner in which he scopes my throat and trache is unnerving at the least. Leslie squirts a numbing liquid up my nostril several times to get me ready. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Goldberg enters and we exchange stories and pleasantries while the numbing is taking effect. The scope is an 18 inch piece of plastic hose about 1/8 of an inch in diameter. Its’ end contains a small light and a video camera. Opening my trache and inserting the camera to look around is not the issue. That he did and all things looked fine as what he sees comes up on a computer screen and I as well can actually look into my throat. Step one done. Next is the discomfort. The scope is inserted into my nostril, up the nasal canal until it meets that U-turn at the top of the septum and then starts to snake it down. Despite the previous squirting, I can feel the camera going down my windpipe into my throat. It’s not that I have a tube going into and up through my nose, turning down and entering my throat. It’s all I can do not to gag so he can look around in there. I can now feel the camera in the back of my throat. I want to upchuck. This is when he tells me to say “eeeee”, to see if the paralyzed vocal chords are responding in any way. He looks around there for awhile, all of us seeing the inside of my windpipe and larynx. All things look good so he can now slowly remove the camera the same way it went in. This is not a pleasant undertaking and I don’t relish it at all. The trade-off is knowing that there exists no remains of the cancer in my throat or neck. He doesn’t want to see me for another year. This is good news as prior visits have been twice annually. So far I’m batting a thousand with my doctors and dentist visits. An annual physical checkup and a brain MRI and I’m finished with all these visits. We’ll visit with sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews for the next few days, while Chris and Jay continue to tolerate our little idiosyncracies in their home and remain the quintessential hosts.

Leave a Reply