For my personal assurance, I visited my pulmonologist this week, who knows me well. I explained to him the surgery I was considering, and about my concerns. He got a chest x-ray and spirometer test, and said that my pulmonary strength and health have been stable for the past year and a half. He believed that while the intubation was risky, that in my condition it was an acceptable risk. Just hearing him say that made me feel more comfortable. Then he said, "And of course, we can always pray!" and he prayed with me right then and there. That gave me the courage I needed to make my decision.
The surgery is now scheduled for August 2 - less than a week away. OK then, let's scale this fence!