Thursday, 14 July 2011

July 14

We got the results from the colonoscopy, catscan and blood work yesterday. 

Overall it's not great news. I have 3 tumors. The ones on my liver and large intestines are both 5 cm in size. A third is in my small intestine cavity, it is 12 cm long but narrow. Based on the results it looks like each of tumors has smaller ones with it. Several lymph nodes look larger but hard to tell if they are infected, best to assume they are. At this point they would not be able to get all of the cancer with surgery. 
On a positive side the cancer has not spread to anything else. Nothing in my blood, lungs, bones ect. 

The only potential short-term complication is with a partial blockage in my large intestine. The doctors had a pow-wow today to discuss if they should do surgery first to remove the blockage or proceed with chemo. The question was if they should do the preventative surge's first and delay chemo or just start the chemo early next week as planned. 

Chemo is basically poison. Recovery from any surgery will be slower and riskier if I am on chemo. It is an either or choice. Start with the preventive surgery to avoid a potential blockage (this is not curative and will allow the other cancer to continue to grow) and wait at least six weeks to start treatment or start the chemo on Monday and hope the tumor does not grow any more or even might start to shrink with the chemo treatment. 

The recommendation from the pow-wow was to proceed with the planned chemo for next week. I'll be getting the port early on Monday and my first chemo treatment either late Monday or early Tuesday. This will be just under a month from first detection in Fredericton, faster is always better but I think this was a great turnaround time. 

To be honest the stats are not on my side. The median survival for people with my type of cancer at this stage is two to five years. That being said most people who get this are much older, have other complications and do not have the same overall good health that I have. The goal is to start chemo and see if we can shrink the tumors. If this goes week we can look at surgery as a curative treatment.

I'm also collecting my medical reports to get a second opinion. Dr Smith from Sunnybrook has agreed to review my files. (thanks to a neighbor for setting this up.) I'll try to get everything out to him early next week. I think the recommendation will be the same but you never know. At a minimum it will be good to get confirmation and another set of eyes looking at my files. 

My focus has been on improving my strength in preparation for chemo next week. My weight has stabilized but the daily workouts are improving my cardio and overall strength. I'm also started taking iron pills to bring my red cell count up to normal.

Spending more time with the boys has also been nice. Gone to see a few movies (I thought Super 8 was great!) and a day at Wonderland. With all the bad press about RIM it was nice to see most of the younger crowd had Blackberries. The difficult part was trying to avoid running over them with my wagon in tow. The younger crowd were walking, chatting to the person beside them, BBM'ing and not looking up. 

1 comment:

Deanna said...

I am really glad to hear that you are able to get another opinion/review of your file as the more brains working on this the better. Every patient is so unique that the more cumulative experience the doctors can bring to the table the more options that have worked for other people can be considered.

Glad to hear your positive recommendation for the Super 8 movie. Drazen has been wanting to go see it but I wasn't convinced it would be that good. We will probably go this upcoming weekend.

Also, wanted to let you know that I forwarded the link to your blog to Mary and Peter and they really appreciate, as do we all, that you are giving us this window to stay connected with what's happening with your treatment as you move through to recovery from this illness. And don't look so surprised that Mary and Peter actually know what a blog is - they are very tech-savvy even if they are in their 70s and 80s. You know, RIM should forget about the younger crowd and start handing out some BBs to the older crowd - who have lots of disposable income not to mention time on their hands for BBM'ing!