I am back to the OR February 15, 2017 for round 2 of the leaky heart valve surgery saga. I continue to have worsening symptoms (as my long-time cardiologist in Little Rock predicted years ago). The good news is that my 2004 mitral valve replacement continues to work effectively. The bad news is that my undiagnosed childhood rheumatic fever has continued to impede both the aortic and tricuspid valves. Many of you know that I visited The Cleveland Clinic in November for a second opinion. After 4 days of consultations and diagnostic tests, I was sent home to await the decision of the TAVR team, which would decide whether I was a good candidate for a minimally invasive procedure to repair the aortic valve. Alas, I received the news after Thanksgiving that I was "TOO YOUNG" and really needed to undergo another open-heart procedure to replace the aortic valve and repair the tricuspid. Not that I wasn't flattered to be considered too young for something, but this was not what I had hoped for. My Christmas gift was a surgery date that takes into account the need to be off my drug that is now keeping my lungs cancer-free since the breast cancer spread there in 2015. They prefer someone to have more red cells and neutrophils than is my new normal. With that in mind, and with my ever-increasing shortness of breath (not to mention the arthritic knees), I am trying very hard to prepare myself for this big event. I will spare you the details, but wanted you to know that I am heading to Cleveland with a good friend from Cortez on February 11. I have 5 hours of pre-op appointments on Monday, February 13 and will then be admitted to the Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Center for IV heparin for 2 days. Surgery will be sometime on the 15th, and I will be in ICU for at least 2 days. My sister will be updating this website when she has new information from my friend, Bernadine. I will take over communication duties when I am out of my drug-induced ICU fog. This is early notice as well as belated holiday wishes! I never did get my Christmas letters sent even though I actually wrote one in early December. Life got in the way big time, but that's another story. As I get closer to V-Day (Valve and Valentine's) I may have more to share. But I may not check this site very often before surgery. I know I can count on all of you for good thoughts and prayers. I will look forward to your posts and news to keep me entertained throughout my recovery.