Sunday, January 22, 2017

IU Health Update - 9/21/16

Originally posted on our What Friends Do page, 9/21/16

First of all, thank you to everyone who contacted me today to let me know you were thinking of me. I really appreciated that. I felt really supported at my appointments today.

I went to IU Health today and had an appointment with a thoracic oncologist who focuses on cancers of the lung, and a thoracic surgeon. It wasn't quite what I'd hoped, but also not what I feared either. Here's a brief run down:

Both the oncologist and the surgeon felt that the biopsy sample taken via bronchoscopy was very small, and that they would therefore prefer to remove the tumor first, then study it and do more tests on it, and then make decisions about other test and treatment options. As Dr. Jalal (the oncologist) put it, tumor removal would be both theraputic (removing and potentially curing the cancer), as well as diagnostic (being able to study the tumor so we can make other decisions about care).

The concensus then is to remove the tumor first, then make decisions about other tests or treatments later, and I'm comfortable with that plan. Someone from scheduling is supposed to call me tomorrow to set the surgery date.

From that point, things diverge a little bit.

Dr. Jalal (the oncologist) was very positive and believes that it is very likely that this is exactly what we think it is - a typical carcinoid tumor - and that when they take it out for study they will have findings consistent with that, and that it likely will not have spread anywhere. So basically she's my favorite right now.

Dr. Kesler (the surgeon) was less positive, saying that it was hard to tell much of anything from the biopsy report, and for all we know this could be anything from benign to small cell lung cancer (which is some seriously bad shit). He also noted that this tumor is pretty large for a carcinoid and that carcinoids typically start in the airways and that mine did not. So he's still skeptical about what this even is, which I was not expecting and which was not very comforting to me. Dr. Kesler is *not* my favorite right now. Not even close.

So, what happens now? Tomorrow we wait for that call from the scheduler and get on the books for a surgery. They told me today that surgery would probably be within the next 3 weeks. We do the surgery and the accompanying recovery. Depending on what the tumor looks like once they've gotten it out and studied it, that might be all we do, or it might be the start of a testing/treatment plan.

That's pretty much what I know for now. I'll update when I know more.

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