Dr. F called last night. The PET scan showed that the cancer is contained in my abdomen/pelvis. A big concern had been that cancerous cells had spread to the liver and/or lungs, but it's just not there! Based on those results, Dr. F, along with Dr. B of M.D. Anderson fame, has decided to operate. I will go into surgery on Monday morning to have all three masses removed. The surgery will include a colon resection, similar to what I experienced in 2010.
After the surgery, I can expect to spend a week--maybe a little more--in the hospital (it was a 9-day stay last time--entirely too long, in my opinion). During my recovery, my medical team will send the tumors off for chemo sensitivity testing. This process involves treating pieces of the tumor with chemotherapy drugs and watching the effect: do they shrink? do they remain the same? This is how Dr. F will know whether or not to treat me with chemo, and which drugs may be most effective. I am not holding out much hope that this means no chemo at all for me, but I am encouraged that if I have to do it, I will be taking the right meds for my specific cancer growth.
The little cowboys have been informed of the surgery. Here's a little bit of that conversation:
Goliath: How do they get the cancer out, Mom?
Little Middle: The doctor cuts Mom's stomach and takes it out.
Me: That's right, buddy. When he does that.....
Goliath: Yeah, but how does he DO it? Does he have really sharp scissors?
Little Middle: No, he uses a knife. I think it's like the one that Dad used to kill that wild hog at the lease.
They don't like the idea that I will be away from them, and neither do I! I am asking God to put a kind, super-compassionate nurse in place that might let them sneak in to visit.
In the meantime, we are soaking up every available minute we have together. They don't know that I am scared, they don't know that I wrestle with God. What they do know is that their mom loves them. And somehow, for this hot summer afternoon, that seems to be enough.