Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Results Are In

When I arrived at the medical office for the scan, the receptionist asked me a series of questions. Have you had chemotherapy? Have you had radiation? Things like that. And it hit me: I am now a cancer patient. All staff were very nice and compassionate and took the time to explain to me each step along the way as well as the why behind each step. I really appreciate that!

And the results of the scan came back: there is major involvement in my nose as well as some evidence that my lymph nodes of the right side of my neck have been affected. There is no other sign of any activity at this time (thank GOD). My doctor was most concerned with the lymph nodes and this will probably mean I will have them removed (I am not attached). But the scary thing is the amount of involvement with my nose - I could be facing extensive surgery that may mean removing my nose and using a prosthetic. How many different ways can I say NO WAY to that? Of course, if it comes down to my life, I will do whatever I have to do to stay alive. But I am scared to death.

I have consults set up for next week with my doctor and with a radiation oncologist in SF. After that, I will schedule consults with the doctors at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas, which is where Dr. Anderson (my former primary doc who is now retired but looking out for me, I love you, Jeff) thinks I will have the best treatment. Since Dr. Anderson is himself a survivor of this cancer, his opinion on this means more than usual. My sister actually reminded me, this morning, that cancer due to building materials and chemical exposure is a concern I have had since 1987 when Dr. Anderson first treated me for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.


DebGrabien said...

Remember to talk to Marlene. Neil has been reading about the new reconstructive techniques for damn near scorched-earth cancer damage. A prosthetic is NOT necessarily the only probability, or even the highest.

And remember, there are FF miles if needed. And help close at hand.

Because - as discussed - you're worth all of that, and a lot more.

Anonymous said...

Michelle - your options sound great, honey and I have one more. As you know, the City of Hope down here in L.A. is famous for their handling of all types of cancer. It's close to Vicki, close to us and all you need to get admitted is a diagnosis of cancer. I'm sure they are also familiar with this type of cancer. Just a thought - another option.
Love you lots,

DebGrabien said...

BTW, you have love sent from the handicapped enclosure at the Star stage (that's where they had Richard Thompson, which is what got me to brave the crowds yesterday). Ray (of Ray and Ethel, the incredibly sweet Starship folks) and Barry Sless and I posed for a group picture after Thompson's set, and we agreed that this was the official HSB GET BETTER MICHELLE WE LOVE YOU photo.

Soon as I get it, I'll send it along.