Kimberly and I have been working on well-written and highly informative blog posts to bring you up to date. But they are just not coming together, and given the fact that the weather in Seattle this weekend is amazingly beautiful, they likely won’t be ready soon. But we’ve gone way, way too long without an update, so here’s a quick and dirty summary of the news since the last post.
Kimberly’s father, Tom McKittrick, died. So we’ve both spent time in Houston dealing with that.
When we got back, we had the appointments with med-onc and rad-onc. I also had a PET scan. The PET scan showed that we have three cats and six chickens. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Actually, the PET results were that the only active cancer in my body is the stuff we know about in the oral cavity. No need to worry about my lungs and/or any lymph nodes in my neck.
My case was discussed at the UWMC Tumor Board, and the plan is to treat me with a combination of modern, high-tech, computer-guided radiation and chemotherapy, which, while grueling, will have less chance of leaving me with further permanent impairment in speech and swallowing. (I say permanent, because I’ll be getting a feeding tube, because the rads and the chemo will temporarily trash my mucous tissues in my mouth. I did say grueling, right?)
Treatment will last 8 weeks, with a weekly dose of drug and doses of radiation 5 days a week. Before we can begin, there will need to be multiple appointments to do advance dental work including likely extractions, to place the feeding tube, and to get the PICC line that they’ll use for the injections. (The aluminum-foil lining (not quite silver) is that we’ll be able to go on the quick trip to NYC I was hoping to make this month, before I’m too deep into the battle.)
More details and descriptions to follow, but not right away.
Yesterday was such a gorgeous and perfect day in Seattle that it almost made me cry. We have really needed a break, and we were given one. Kimberly and I had lunch outdoors at the Fisherman’s Terminal, and went for a long walk through the neighborhood, and drank delicious limonadas on the patio of our local Cuban-influenced café next to the bookstore. This is the kind of weather that makes me happy to be outside giving the chicken coop its spring cleaning. I am quite consciously and enthusiastically enjoying the gift of these days, storing them up to balance the very crappy ones I know are just a few weeks down the road.