Day 12 – Tuesday (9/04/18)
I believe I made up for yesterday’s “lazy day.” I’d call today… a little hectic. I did get some call backs from the doctor, then had a last minute appointment with another doctor, and was given an information overload. Unfortunately, even with all the information I got today, there are still more questions than answers. I’m going to bullet point the information (mainly for my sake, so I can process and remember it).
- The final result from the first biopsy conducted last Tuesday – inconclusive. However, we did learn some things, just not enough. Here is what we know with reasonable certainty:
- Blobby appears to be a malignant Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Type B.
- Blobby appears to have formed quickly and is growing rapidly. This is the explanation for the necrotic tissue. The way it was explained to me is that some tumors form and grow slowly. This allows the blood vessels to grow and expand at a similar rate, and gives good nutrients to the tumor, keeping it “healthy”. Now… if you have a fast growing tumor that grows quicker than the blood vessels can, some of the blood vessels can pop. Once they pop, portions of the tumor can no longer get nutrients. These sections of the tumor die, leaving behind necrotic tissue.
- It just so happens that the first biopsy hit a chunk of blobby that was dying… hence the difficulties getting a confirmed result.
- An analogy the doctor used when trying to diagnose a tumor. Picture a car crash where there is nothing left but twisted metal. If you look close, you may find the Chevy symbol. There is one clue. Keep looking and you may find a Malibu badge. There is another clue. The necrotic tissue… they are nuts and bolts. They are part of the car, but don’t really tell you anything about it (one could argue metric vs. standard would give a clue… but you get the point).
- Basically, the first biopsy gave us the make and model, but we are missing the rest of the VIN number. Within the Non-Hodgkin’s Type B Lymphoma, there are some 30 sub-classes. These classes are very important in matching the right treatments to evict Blobby.
- Based on the location and our current understanding of Blobby, the surgeon said that he seriously doubts we will “cut him out”. He said the risk is too great. This is likely a chemo-only type of treatment… possibly mixed with a touch of radiation. Honestly though, too soon to tell.
- What the surgeon will do, is perform the second biopsy. Between the PET scan and a camera he will use during the operation, he can ensure that he gets a living (non-necrotic) chunk of blobby for an actual good biopsy.
- The surgery is tentatively scheduled for Friday, 9/7, at 4:00pm. It is expected I will be there for 4-6 hours, but only “under the knife” for 1.5 hours. The results from this biopsy… another 48 to 72 hours… and that may not include the weekend. This means it may be Wednesday, 9/12, before we have a positive ID on blobby (the full VIN number).
- The results of the PET scan also came today. It appears, at this point, that the cancer has not spread throughout the entire lymphatic system. There are a couple of lymph nodes in the general area of blobby that show concern, but at least they are still in the upper torso. The doctor said when dealing with lymphoma, another reason why they typically stick with a straight chemo regiment, is that it goes throughout the whole body and will take care of any “mini-me” blobby’s, even if we missed them on the PET scan.
Alright, I think that is the highlights. If anybody has any questions on all the information, I’m open to talk with you. Just shoot me a text, email, or call (me or my wife). What would be even more of a blessing would be to talk about who Jesus Christ is to me, and who He can be to you as well. If anyone reading this blog doesn’t know Jesus Christ as your personal savior, and you have questions what that means, and want to know more about where I get the peace that I have had through this process, please email email@example.com Just make sure to let us know how to contact you back.
Also, I would like all fellow blog readers to pray today for the principal at my wife’s school… and her husband and family. Her husband had a heart attack on Sunday. He is having a heart cath today. I’m not sure what else is involved in the process, but I know they could use our prayers while they go through this time.
Dear heavenly Father, wow… what a day. I feel like my head is about to explode with all the information that was discussed today. Thank You for giving me the idea for this blog, where I can get everything out in one place, to help remember and process. However, I pray that You will use this blog for much more than that. I pray that people will see You in this blog, and will ask questions, and seek You. I pray that people would read and be encouraged, inspired, motivated, etc in their own trials that they may be going through. Potentially they may see that they are not alone… that we are all one body of Christ, for those who have accepted You. We should not be scared to share our experiences with others. I pray for the family of the principal at my wife’s school, and directly for her husband. I pray that he will have a full recovery from his recent heart attack, and that You will guide the doctors working with him. I pray for continued patience as I now have to wait potentially another week before the final answers are received. I pray that You will keep blobby contained during the waiting period, and that treatment will start right on time according to Your will, and that it will be effective. As always Lord, I thank You for all that You do for me, each and every day. Amen.