We met with Dr. Wolff the oncologist this morning. We compared the CT from April 2006 with this CT side by side. No comments on the pancreas. Last time we were told two lymph nodes were enlarged which was not specific as to cancer or just enlarged from surgery. No comments on any lymph nodes. However, he was very concerned (his words) about several spots on my liver. SAy wHaT? Several simultaneous factors are involved: The presence of new spots on the liver within about 3 months; a very high CA-19-9 cancer marker number; persistent fever/increased temperature; dry non productive cough - a discomfort with deep breaths in the lower trachea; increased white blood cell count (even after a week has passed after the Neupogen shots). Here is the conclusion - higher chance of cancer, but he cannot rule out possible infection in the liver - hence the spots. You know what I am believing for, give me the abcess / infection verses the other possibility.
All joking aside, this was like a second death. The first death is when you are awakend at 6 am by a surgeon only to be told they believe you have cancer. You go through surgery and chemo believing things are improving. The second death is having another Dr. tell you months later "it appears your cancer is very aggressive and has spread to your liver in spite of the two best drugs we have to stop it". This one took some control on my part. I became very emotional; angry would apply as well as bumming over all that I have been through only to hear this. I tried not to think of my kids yet. The Dr left the room and Robin and I started crying. What else can you do but release it. I let out some frustations I had about this news which was just between us two - wife's privilege. That helped. We dried our eyes and regrouped, the Doc returned and he got the ball rolling.
Within the hour I was lined up for bloodwork and another CT - this time only of the lungs. We left the hospital around 2 pm. The second thing will be a liver biopsy - oh no - I don't want another one of those. He assured me that the radiologists would make sure I was sufficiently sedated. The biopsy is to help the Dr. know if it is cancer - clearly - then we know how to proceed. If it comes back and is an abcess or infection, then the course of treatment is apparent. If it comes back non specific either way, things get more complicated as to a treatment plan. We do not yet know when the biopsy will be, he said hopefully early next week.
Robin has to be at school next week to get ready for classes the following week. The kids can stay or go. So we have prepared to stay if need be if the biopsy can be done early like Mon or Tues. The procedure is not lengthy, but the drive to Houston is, so we want to try and get it done while here even if we have to stay over the weekend and into the first part of next week.
So, I know several people who have heard very similar news from their oncologist. Your finite mortality is once again thrown in your face. I can only think of one thing to do, turn to my heavenly Father for help. Yes, we need all the technology and care modern medicine can offer, but in the end He is my sole provider in all things - ultimately.
I was talking with Robin and we decided it is time to take the gloves off and start fighting this new found phantom - sounds similar to the 'shadow of death' in Psalm 23. Fear can paralyze even if it is not founded in fact. That is why the Angels would say 'fear not, the Lord is with thee'.
We are trusting God with this day, and tomorrow we will do it again. Thankyou for you prayers and support. Look forward to tomorrow. GW.