The Woodlands Concert Band
This is a friendly reminder that there is no rehearsal this Thursday. Dress rehearsal will be March 21 with Michael Markowski in attendance.

I had some bad news and some great medical news last week. Last Monday, I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. If caught early, the five-year survival rate is 49%. The great news is that an EUS ultrasound on Friday determined the invasiveness of the nodule. The cancer is 1 cm. There are four layers to the esophagus wall. As the growth breaks through each layer, prognosis gets worse until it breaks through the outer wall and enters the body, the worst scenario. In this case there is no lesion. It is on the inside wall, in the very beginning stages. The big decision is removal by freezing or scraping and I have a consult scheduled for next week to determine the best course. The doctor told my wife that he almost removed it during the procedure. My first though was why not! Then I remembered all the things I had to initial. One must now approve EVERY step of any procedure, grant permission to insert a tube, a scope, receive anesthesia, etc. I initialed eight things that I really did not read. Since I had not given permission to remove this, if complications had occurred, the doctor would be opening himself up to a potential lawsuit, thanks to today’s litigious culture.

One always really wonders how one would react to really, really bad news. Susan told me at night that the doctor thinks it might be cancer of the esophagus. I went to bed. I thought back eleven years, to my surprise retirement party: 700+ in the audience, 118 former students and colleagues on the stage (the number had to be capped due to space), 10 conductors who are mentors and people important over my career playing some of my favorite music with the band, me handed a baton to conduct Blue Shades, a piece KF helped commission, with my son playing the solo, the administration naming the music wing after me, never seeing the decades of memories that had been set up in the commons because of a 2+ hour greeting line filled with constant love, gratitude, and thanks, closing down the school at midnight, moving to BJ’s Brewhouse and closing it down. I told Susan I could never be sad ever again. I just had to remember that evening and be filled with overflowing joy.

So I am falling asleep, content, knowing that this is all in God’s hands. My Sleep Number the next morning was 93, the highest number since before the pandemic. I am truly blessed, by my diagnosis and by you, members of the band. You are my second family and felt it appropriate to inform you next, after my "real" family.

Enjoy the break,
Paul Worosello
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