Today the rollercoaster slowed a bit and began to chug into the station.
After two good days of better information and death to bureaucracy, Jody and I had a very fruitful meeting with Dr. Grasso today and laid out a rough calendar of events with the goal of destroying the cancer in me. As Jody and I left today we had a very different prayer time in the truck and expressed thanks for all the great things that have come together as the ride finally winds down.
People keep asking, worried, if I'm being given any "chances" or "odds" of success. No one I've spoken with yet has used these expressions. They all speak about removing the tumor and eliminating the metastatic disease, for good. That's my kind of confidence.
The calendar shapes up like this...
In the next week or so, I will start radiation treatment and tailored chemotherapy. If approved, I will get chemo pills made just for me, for my height and weight. If not, I will get tailored chemo by IV. This will be every day for approximately five weeks during which I can expect to feel tired, not terribly hungry, possibly nauseous, and a little more familiar with the locations of the restrooms wherever I go.
I will meet with Dr. Grasso a little past halfway through the therapy and again about a week after I complete it to keep him up to date with how I'm doing. At that second meeting we will schedule surgery for a good five or six weeks later. This time will let the effects of the radiation and chemo slow down a little and give my body a chance to ramp up for surgery. I'll be feeling better through this time though the anxiety of surgery will doubtlessly knot me up a little.
The surgery date will mark the start of a five to seven day stay at the hospital which will probably be GBMC and a bit of a burden on Jody. I am almost certain this will be the first time we're going to need someone outside the house to help us with taking care of Bailey and Hurley back home. I know I will miss them and will probably lose my marbles couped up in a hospital bed. I expect visitors. Ahem. ;)
This should put me back home for a four or five week break from work close to the week before or the week of Thanksgiving this year. The timing is divinely ironic. :lol:
That may mean I do not go back to work until after the holidays, but that's what my disability benefits are for at work. Right now I have no idea if I will need further radiation or chemo after surgery but I'm not betting against it. If so, the locations and amounts will depend upon the effectiveness of the pre-surgery therapy and the thoroughness of the surgery procedure itself. My confidence remains high... after all, my surgeon is a car guy too. :yesssss:
So that's how the ride goes. The gutwrenching drop and the loop-de-loop are past and the rest of the hills got easier. I credit my aunt Beth for introducing me to the carefully constructed scare and for teaching me the secret is to scream and let it out to avoid getting sick. This has been me screaming and I'm ready to get off now. It's off to the Lazy River Rafts with a stop at the Tilt-a-Whirl later on this year but thanks for riding with me. All the prayers and messages and cards and Alex's awesome care package really carried me through. I still need you guys for the weeks and months ahead so though the blog may not be rocking and rolling, Jody and I will still be on this train.