Monday, September 6, 2010

Day One Phase Three

Well, here we are. We are nearly 10 weeks post surgery. Susan is strong and vibrant -- living life fully every day.  I am so happy to have her in my life.

Today, as we exited a Metro Bus at Friendship Heights on our way to a lovely lunch, Susan said, "I'm finally feeling that I'm going to live through this." Our good friend, Sister Jo, said "Well, if Susan has decided that she will, she will."  The three of us kept an appointment with Dr. C. (Chernofsky -- but its too long to write).  This doc is the epitome of the "best doctor" you could want; she is warm, she is thorough and detailed. WE (especially Susan) really like her.

The bottom line:  there will be another surgery on October 21st (firm).  Susan will be "out of pocket" for probably 4 weeks after that.  Dr. C says, "I think we can lick this thing."  Definitive answers to our questions (and yours too) cannot be given until Dr. C and the pathologists have the whole mass in their hands.  There are four complicated scenarios for this situation; let this suffice here on the blog: the surgery will begin and then the course to take will be chosen when the doctors are inside.

Until there is more to say, "Keep on Truckin".


From Susan on 9/6/10:

Last week I saw Dr. Mildred Chernofsky, gynecologic oncologist and pelvic surgeon.  John and Jo Vaughn, an old friend from Chapel Hill days, went with me.  My next surgery is scheduled for Thursday, October 21 at Sibley Memorial Hospital.  Dr. Chernofsky said that my healing from surgery in June is remarkable and I appear to be wonderfully healthy.  After the examination, Dr. Chernofsky said that the tumor showed no evidence of change or growth or intrusion into other organs.  The tumor is located below the tailbone near the artery leading to the legs, pressing on the colon.

Despite the report of the oncologists at Sibley and the Mayo Clinic, they won't know for certain the structure of the tumor until it is removed and examined.  Dr. Chernofsky can assess collateral tissue damage when the tumor is removed. 

There are variables, which have different outcomes.  Best case – tumor is contained with no lymph node involvement and the colostomy can be removed.  Dr. Palmer, who operated in June, will be with Dr. Chernofsky in surgery to do this, if necessary. 

Dr. Chernofsky described the growth as a laconic adenosarcoma that usually stays put, but there is a 50% chance that the tumor might grow back.  I will be intubated for surgery and will recover in the ICU. My favorable impression of Dr. Chernofsky as confident, determined, and competent, was confirmed and strengthened.  I am fortunate to have Dr. Chernofsky in charge of my treatment.

Mary (sister)and Bob (Bro-in-law) will come here the day before surgery as well as Harry (Bro).  Their comfort and support has been immeasurable to me and I believe partly responsible for my recovery thus far.

I realize the seriousness of my situation, and I am optimistic, hopeful, and eager to move ahead.  John will restart the blog after Oct 21.