In Honor of My Husband, Ron

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cautiously optimistic...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008. It's Ron's 56th birthday today! Guess what he got to do? Have a colonoscopy. What a lucky guy! We were given the choice between having it on his birthday or the day after, in which case he would have been doing the "prep" on his birthday, and as you all probably know, that is the worst part of the procedure. At least now he can have dinner and have a piece of apple pie (his favorite) for dessert tonight. He has gained another 5 pounds since my last post! We went down to Missouri to see my sister and her family over Thanksgiving and she stuffed him like a Christmas goose. Now to catch everyone up on what's been happening since the last post. On Tuesday, November 18, Ron saw the surgeon. He could not see any areas of concern, and his feeling was that the PET scan was done too soon after surgery to be accurate. He told Ron to go ahead and have the other tests done and come back to see him after that. Our next appointment was on November 21st with a Gastroenterologist, to take Ron's history and schedule the colonoscopy. He also did not think there would be cancer found. On November 25th, Ron had his Thyroid scan done.

Wednesday, November 26th was our big meeting with the Radiation Oncologist. It was good to see him again, after 2 years. He gave Ron a thorough exam, and did find a small nodule under his tongue, and had me come and feel where it was. That was the only area that concerned him. He said that he would not agree to re-radiate until we were sure the cancer was back. He told Ron to go back to the surgeon so he could do a biopsy of the area. Only with positive results would he agree to radiation, and he mentioned that it might be a different type than IMRT. If the results of the biopsy are negative, he wants to wait and repeat the PET in January. He also mentioned that Ron has Perineural Invasion, or PNI. I didn't ask anything about it at the time, but have started to search to find out what that means. From what I understand so far, it acts as a scaffold for the cancer cells to spread. We left the RO's office feeling much more positive about the future. There were now three doctors that thought the PET results would be inaccurate so soon after the surgery. Oh, how we hope they are right. Right after the appointment we drove for 8 hours down to my sister's, and had a wonderful time visiting with all of them until Sunday, the 30th, when we drove back home.

Monday, December 1. Ron had an appointment with the chemotherapy doctor today. He said the Thyroid scan was negative. Thank God! One less area to worry about. He agreed with the RO that the surgeon should biopsy the spot under the tongue. Right after this appointment, we had an appointment with the surgeon. He agreed that the nodule was suspicious, but will not do a needle biopsy. Instead, Ron will have outpatient surgery next Monday, where the surgeon will remove the entire nodule if possible, to send to pathology. He said that he is not as certain that Ron cannot be cured of this cancer again, and said that he thought the oncologist was being too "bleak." We just don't know what to think at this point. Ron is very positive about being able to beat this again. I need to draw on some of that strength of his! Today, December 2, Ron had his colonoscopy. The doctor came out and told me that no cancer was found! He did have some small pockets of diverticulosis, but it shouldn't be a concern. Ron can't eat nuts or popcorn anymore anyway without teeth. He suggested more fiber, so I will pick up some supplements, since he also has trouble eating raw fruits and vegetables. So now we wait until Monday, the 8th, to find out the results of the biopsy. Keep praying, please. So far things are looking up!

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