Congratulations, you get to have surgery…

October 9, 2006

Well, I now understand what’s going on a lot more than before.

After a weekend call with the incredible Dr Cecchi, I now understand that surgery is what one does with this cancer. If at all possible, you cut the thing out of the body. This cancer tends to return to the scene of the crime. Unless it’s spread to a surgically difficult place, they treat esophageal cancer by removing it. It’s not true of all cancer, but that’s what they do with adenocarcinoma, if at all possible.

So, all this “surgery is only an option” was only if the outcome of all these tests were bad — that is, inoperable. Yikes.

The “complete response” is still awesome — but it means I’m on the road to surgery. Which is a great thing, I’m told. Funny, I don’t feel that way — I’m really not looking forward to having my digestive tract re-arranged.

But that’s all small potatoes compared to the big bug-a-boo — the cancer in the lymph nodes. That’s bad, and that’s what spreads to other organs. The super-sonic trans-siberian fancy ultrasound endoscopy that I had last week was done to perform another test to check the state of the cancer. More good news just came back from that test — the biopsy’s (biopsies?) were all negative. So, is more than one biopsy called biopsies? I keep reading that as “boopsies”, but that’s probably because my brain is wired all funny.

Anyway, I meet with Dr Stallone (pronounced stah-lone-eeee, not like Sylvester), the surgeon, on Tuesday. He’s tentatively scheduled a surgery date for Monday, October 16. I hope to be able to watch the Cal-Washington game from home the following Saturday, if not, boy I hope the hospital gets Fox Sports Net!

I guess there’s always Tivo.

So, I meet with Dr Stallone tomorrow morning… and discuss all sorts of stuff. During our initial consultation he said total recovery time is six to eight weeks before being able to work. I sure hope I can spend a couple of hours at a football game. Or at least watching on TV.

Probably because I can imagine what surgery is (versus having no idea about what chemo and radiation would be like), I’m a heck of a lot more freaked out about surgery than the other stuff. I have this horrible feeling that there will be lots of pain and all sorts of gross fluids involved. I guess I’ll find out more when I visit the doctor tomorrow.

The more I think about it… the more I think “yikes”. Either that, or “bring on the morphine”. No, it’s just “yikes”.

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One Response to “Congratulations, you get to have surgery…”

  1. Chris said

    Wow, Dave, great news!
    You know more than me, but “no lymph node involvement” has always seemed like a huge deal for other cancers.
    That you have to have surgery totally sucks, but certainly with this, conservative measures good! Letting any microscopic bad buys regroup bad!
    Anyway, I’ll feel much better the rest of the day. Go Dave! Go bears!

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