Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The 3 and 1/2 hour wait ffor the surgeon was worth it

Yup - the doctor was a wee bit backed up today, but the wait was worth it. I was very impressed with the surgeon and her team. And she gave me a lot a hope as well, for she was the first doctor to say out loud that this was treatable. She said I was in the top 20% of the patients she has seen and they should be able to get the cancer out.

It still appears that the tumor is in the right lung, and it seems to be in the upper lobe. At least one node has been affected, but this is next to the same lobe of the lung, which is good news as well.

So the plan is to have a "lobe-ectomy" (sp?) Basically they are going to take out the upper lobe of my right lung. They will also remove all of the nodes in that area and test them for cancer. As of now she believes that at least one will come back positive, and then we will have further treatment. One of the best quotes of the night was, "Because of your age we will throw the whole kitchen sink at you, you will have both chemo and radiation." My thought is - if she can cut out the cancer, I will endure both chemo and radiation to make sure that it does not come back again.

There are two possible ways of doing the surgery. The first they will try consists of doing the majority of the work by using a tube down my throat. There will be a small (3 inch) cut under my armpit where the lobe will be removed. If that cannot happen, and that means that they cannot get to all the nodes that they need to through the tube, then they will have a 6 inch cut under my armpit where they will stretch my ribs and do the entire surgery through there.

Both types of surgery will require me to be in the hospital for 2-3 days. I will then have a few days recovery at home before beginning the chemo and radiation therapies.

We also set a tentative date for the surgery. It will be on April 15th. This was the first opening they had, and it works well for us too. This way we can do everything we need to for Holy Week and Easter, and we can take the trip to Florida with Jennifer's family that was planned earlier this year. I think this will be especially good for Sierra, because she is not liking me going to all those doctor appointments in a row and the time away just with us will be good.

It is a little longer to wait than I originally hoped, but the doctor assured me that in terms of cancer growth, this is nothing. She said the tumor has been in there for over a year and not much will change in three weeks.

So overall it was a very good appointment. I had a retired doctor, who is a dear family friend, with me to be my sounding board, and she was impressed and heard good news in the meeting as well.

The next step is the MRI, which will be on Friday. Then I have one more pre-surgery appointment in Madison. After that it is the surgery and follow-up treatments.

Thanks to everyone who have been praying for us. We all appreciate your support and ask for continued prayers as we continue down this path.

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