Thursday, November 13, 2008

Out of the Hospital – Cancer Update


This past week has been a week of patently unexpected results, of turnarounds and non-linear, seemingly non-connected events. A week of non-conclusive, yet painful strings of events and hints of other things not yet determined. Doesn't sound all too clear does it? Here is how it played out. Went in for pre-op at the hospital around 11 am for a 12:30 start. Met with the anesthesiologist and surgeon, got the party hat and was wheeled into the OR at 12:30 pm woke in recovery about 3:30 or 4 pm and was not really fully awake until about 6 pm. For some reason, always have trouble coming out of the fog of anesthesia immediately. Staff in the recovery room is notified of a permanent room available around 7 pm and up, up the elevator to the room to settle in. My wife, my strength and my best friend in life is crying. She says to keep fighting. I said sure, you know, that's what it is all about. She and the surgeon had talked and it turns out that the sub mandibular gland excision went without a hitch. Real easy going. The unexpected part was the biopsy on the left side of the tongue. That's why my wife was crying. Apparently, the cancer had done a skip-tissue, which was explained to me as hiding or camouflaging itself in the existing swelling and scar tissue only to reemerge at another spot, my tongue.

The surgeon said there is no way (as of that day) to know if they got all the cancer. He said that there are other treatment centers around the country that have an extended program for post surgery skin grafts and experimental programs. With this case, the Surgeon just couldn't tell if the cancer would still use the skip tissue to resurface. After exhausting all of the available chemo and radiation therapy treatments, surgery is the only way to keep up with the cancer. There will be more follow-ups and tests over the next few weeks, but to hear that the cancer is still progressing after all the other surgeries and treatments is still a trip.

Cancer, in this case is like a fight with a championship professional boxer who has an unorthodox style. Kind of like
. Sure, they can do all the basics, but their strength is their unorthodox style in which you get hit from somewhat impossible angles- you never see it coming. Oh, their defense is good too, so what you throw back might not get in. The non-linearity of cancer's patterning is one of its deadly strengths. So now the process is to be aware of any changes and keep the followups and options on the front burner. Thanks to all you who have sent personal E-mails! Grateful for your love, support, prayers and strength! Gonna be wobbly for a bit, but should be able to post more shortly.

Click on the link to
Health System's article on dealing with a family member's cancer during the holiday. Thanks for checking in!

One Love

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