Welcome to our Caring Bridge Site. This seems like the right way to update my many friends and relatives about what's going on with my health. Thank you for your interest and BTW, this is NOT a subtle fund raising platform so please don't by accident donate on my behalf.
As some of you may know, a week ago I received a very grim diagnosis of Small Cell Lung Cancer. It appears I have a "mass" in my R Lung that's very busy and malignant. In addition, it seems to have spread/metastasized to my lymph nodes and both adrenal glands! I say it appears because I haven't had a biopsy yet, which I'll explain. Next Wednesday, Dec. 4th, I'll be at Swedish where a nice Thoracic Surgeon (Dr. Gilbert) will look at sedated me and will insert a device down my bronchial tube. He will look around for interesting surprises, plus will take a biopsy of both the tumor and of the big enlarged lymph node deep in my lung. He may test other spots too. He'll send them first for a biopsy to clearly define what's in these spots. Assuming it's what we all expect, samples will then be sent for Molecular Marker Testing. This will give my oncologist the detailed info needed to define my specific chemotherapy needs and get me started with treatment. I anticipate heavy duty chemo (apparently surgery is not an option) and possibly radiation treatment. Oh, I forgot to mention, for those of you particularly interested in adrenal glands, that a person needs to have one to live, and that mine are located in a pesky spot, sort of hidden by my kidneys, so not available for a needle type biopsy. They are not my top worry right now, as you'd guess. So the good news is, this is a thorough, deliberate process and all the timing makes sense. The bad news is this limbo right now - this unknown. And I need to wait here for perhaps 2 more weeks, which of course I will. It's tiring but oh well.
Background: a chest cold and lingering cough at the end of October, followed by serious fatigue and loss of appetite took me to the doctor. After Chest X ray (showing a mass), then a CT Scan, showing lymph and adrenal involvement and finally a PET Scan, which told us the cancer is very active. So many doctor visits, tests and a barrage of new words to learn.
Kevin has been/is perhaps the best partner ever. Though we are both very sad, we're OK, considering this bad news. My sister Martha, from Eugene, has been here this week which has been a comfort in every way. She plans to be here often. And our cat Zuma who of course doesn't know what's changed LOVES that I lie down a lot more. He settles right in, cat like.
We all know I've been enormously blessed, and yes, this give a chance to step back and consider what matters. I will learn a lot and am eager to get going with treatment. P.S. Alas, I won't have the energy to respond to individual e-mails, as I'm already very pooped. My home address is 3617 12th Av West, Seattle 98119. love and xoxoxo