Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Radiation Appointment #1

Hi everyone.   This morning we had an appointment with Premier Cancer Center (the radiation specialist that Dr. B recommended), and we had a bunch of questions.   First and foremost was "this wasn't an option 2 years ago because of the side effects, why is it now?"    The bottom line is you want to radiate a big area, the bigger the area the better, but you also want to be very specific because in the area of my cancer are several things that do NOT like radiation and could be greatly affected by radiation.....salivary glands, vocal cords and hearing in the right ear.  With that said he thinks he can set the radiation to be below the salivary glands and not affect the hearing, and also thinks that melanoma responds best to BIG amounts of radiation in fewer treatments than we were expecting.   So instead of 5 days a week for 5 weeks, it would be twice a week for a total of 5 treatments.   I would start with an appointment to get a mesh mask made that is put on my face/head wet, and it dries to a rigid form that is screwed to the table, so I'm in the exact same position for every treatment......anyone claustrophobic???

We mentioned that Dr. F wanted us to talk to the radiation department at UT Southwestern, and he was fine with that, encouraging us to get a second opinion, but thought they would probably agree with him on the course of treatment.   I have an appointment with UTSW Jan 2nd, and depending on how that goes, I have a Jan 6th appointment to start the ball rolling with Premier.

On to Top Chef......4 hours until Top Chef comes on.   AND I've been asked to send in another audition tape for BBQ Pitmasters.   I might have to start a grass roots campaign to get me on the show since I've tried out twice.....I don't think I'm "colorful" enough.   Last year two of the contestants had closed caption when they talked because they were so red neck you couldn't understand them!   An institutional stock broker living in the burbs of Dallas just isn't a good enough story!!

Midnight Update

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ear.....I come to report decent news!

So, update earlier and the car ride home was interesting, or at least I'm told, because I don't remember any of it!   I was so ready (rushed) to get out of the surgical center and I was probably still under decent anesthesia and loopy pain drugs....but I was ready to get home!!   I slept for several hours this afternoon, and woke up feeling pretty good.   Definitely a lot more sore than earlier in the day and worn out, but compared to previous surgeries where they messed with lymph nodes, glands and nerves, this was a walk in the park.   Dr. B was able to avoid the nerve that controls the right side of my mouth, and it wasn't working today, but he said that was because the area had been injected with something during the surgery.   Very happy to see if that returns to normal.

So......big day #1 is behind me and I'll call it a success.     Big day #2 is tomorrow when we meet with Premier Cancer Center on 75 about the scheduling of radiation.   I'll have a lot of questions, not only about timing and scheduling, but also about the side effects and why it wasn't suggested just a couple of years ago.   I'm really looking forward to this meeting, as it's the last piece of the puzzle of information that we are gathering.

BUT, I'll post tomorrow with an update on what we learn and how things are going.

And I know I say this all the time, but I'm blessed to have such great family and friends......Love you all very much.


P.S.   Nice gritty win for the Stars on the second night of an out of town/in town back to back.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Post Surgery Update

From Dasha:

The surgery went well and we are home.  His incision is small and his nerve for his lip was untouched which is a huge praise.  His surgeon said that the surgery went exactly as planned.  Mike isn't in any pain and is sitting at our kitchen counter FINALLY having his coffee for the day!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Here We Go Again!

Yeah yeah, it's been a year and a half since my last blog post, I can see that.  So I'm not as good as my dear friend, and blogging queen JA (Thumper for short) but I'm trying.

As many of you know, I went in for a quarterly surgical oncology check up a week ago.  After a sonogram showed a lump in my neck (same area as previous surgeries) that wasn't "behaving as it should" (glad to see all the med school lingo is paying off for my dr), he did a needle biopsy.  Well, if I'm posting on this blog again, you can guess that on Wednesday it came back positive for melanoma.  Terry at Dr. B's office scheduled a Friday morning appt with the Dr. B to put a plan in place, and ordered a PET scan and a brain MRI.   PET was done Thursday afternoon and the brain MRI Friday morning at 7:30 am.   The PET scan did show the lump in my neck, but thankfully was clear other than that, and the brain MRI came back all clear.

Dr. B set surgery for the next week (tomorrow) and we were off to meet with Dr. F at UT Southwestern.   Dr. F and his staff are awesome.   They had all my scans and test results from Terry and immediately had a plan.   I'm going to have surgery tomorrow at 8:00 am, and will meet with the radiology department on Wednesday morning (if I'm up for it).   Then the plan is after a couple of weeks of healing, start radiation.   I have a lot of questions about radiation as it wasn't an option just a couple of years ago, but I'm looking forward to asking those Wed morning.

So the schedule for the week is:

Tuesday  8:00 am surgery
Wednesday 10:00 meet with radiation team
Wednesday 9:00 watch Top Chef  
Thursday  watch Sopranos 
Friday   watch more Sopranos and Ultimate Survival Alaska

Last week was a very stressful week, but I'm thankful for Dasha, my family and our dear friends.   Dasha's parents are arriving at 6:00 am in the morning to help with the girls, and my parents have relieved a huge stress on us also.

Thank you for friends......each of you are dear to me and thank you most of all for your prayers.   They are felt and very much appreciated.

And yes JA, I promise to post about something, ANYTHING, in the next 18 months!!!!!!   Maybe I could be the Reality Steve of Top Chef!!!!!


(either I will or someone will update this blog this week, post surgery and post doctor's appointments)