On behalf of Kim and my family, we thank you again for all of the support we’ve been given over the entirety of this journey. And I just want to say thanks to those who’ve continued to read these blog posts while I’ve been getting treatment recently. Somehow, the 3 month intervals between CT/PET scans has synchronized with the seasons. Kim noted last night that this is the 4th year in a row where we’ve either been away on the first day of school or have left during the first week. Obviously this is difficult on the kids and on us. But we made the decision to go to MD Anderson in Houston in 2013, and we’ve got to continue to do so in hope that we’re getting the care I need. There are other options, but this is the path we’ve chosen.
We leave Wednesday morning at 6am amidst chaos at Delta. If all goes according to schedule, we’ll arrive in Houston later that morning and I’ll have a CT scan that afternoon.
On Thursday morning, we meet with the HIPEC surgeon. If you’ve read previous posts, you’ll recall that this is the doctor that would like to perform a procedure to fill my abdominal cavity with heated, systemic chemo to kill (hopefully) all microscopic cancer cells and any small spots that are present there (they found small “cancer seeds” during my surgery in April). This doctor will give us the results of the CT scan and his thoughts on moving forward. If the chemo that I’ve been on has continued to be effective and I have no active cancer in my lymphatic system, he might want us to consider this surgery. The problem is that the surgery has “high morbidity”, meaning it will kick my butt, and I’ll likely be in the hospital for 3 weeks. But it is critical that I get back on chemo as soon as I’m healed up to keep the lymphatic disease in check. If there are any complications to healing that would delay treatment, this could allow tumors to grow in some lymph nodes that would be life-threatening.
On Friday, we’ll meet with our head surgeon and get his thoughts. And then we’ll meet with my oncologist. Even if the CT scan looks great, he may have a different opinion on whether HIPEC surgery is a good idea. If the CT scan shows progression of disease, well, then we’ll have to look for new therapies, and this might mean clinical trials.
So, suffice to say, we may have very critical decisions awaiting us. It may be surgery, it may be staying the course, or it may be a different treatment not available locally (trial). We’ll need wisdom to make and peace with the decision, which won’t be easy regardless. For the prayer warriors out there, I’m guessing by now you have an idea of how to pray. I myself am praying for my children, my wife, wisdom for my doctors, my friends and family who support me. Through all of this, I see God at work, and I pray that this never ceases.