We met with the oncologist Dr. Monzon today, and he informed us that the cancer had definitely spread to the liver, and maybe even the lungs. He went on to say that as recently as seven years ago, that was an automatic death sentence. Now, however, there was some (if limited) hope. I think I’m summarizing correctly when I say that with no treatment, I have approximately a year, and with straight chemo-therapy I may have two. However, if I’m a candidate for surgery, there is a 20% chance (maybe even 20-40% chance, depending on whom you quote) of being cancer-free in five years. Yes, if you do the math, it means about an 80% chance of being gone in 5 years. The oncologist will be speaking to the surgeons over the next few days to decide if I’m a good candidate for surgery. They make an evaluation now. Assuming I am a candidate, there is a slim chance they’ll want to do the surgery immediately. More likely they’ll do 3 months of chemo, do another evaluation and, if it still makes sense, do the surgery, followed by another 3 months of chemo.
So, it looks like the following is the most likely scenario for my immediate future:
- August 19 – chemo class
- August 20-22 (somewhere in there) – have a port inserted (a “Port-a-Cath, which is different from a “PIC line” for you medical junkies J)
- August 23 – another appointment with the oncologist
- August 26 – start chemo