Well, looks like we are officially moving on to the next step of the treatment process. My thoracic surgeon agrees that it is time to go in and start cutting out those nasty lung tumors. The best case scenario that I mentioned last post is coming true. Surgery is already scheduled for the Friday after next (Nov 2).
My appointment today was moved back a couple of hours so that my surgeon could discuss my case with the "tumor board" (a collection of doctors, oncologists, surgeons, etc.) at the hospital. She came right out of that meeting to our appointment with an aggressive surgery plan that the board agreed with. The first surgery will focus on the right side, taking out the lung tumor and the hilar lymph node. She will also take samples of other lymph nodes in the lung region for testing. If the surgery margins are clear and there is no positivity for cancer in the other lymph nodes then a quick two weeks later we do a second surgery for the left side tumor and hilar node. If, however, there aren't clear margins or the other lymph nodes show positivity, then we're back to chemotherapy and possibly the more precise 'cyberknife' radiation. I am rooting for option A.
Not much discussion of the treatment steps after surgery, since the pathology from surgery one (and hopefully two) will be massive factors in making those decisions. I'm guessing that more chemotherapy is still on the table, but who knows. I'm definitely on the fast track towards surgery. They gave me three medical orders to fulfill before I left today. So I got an EKG, a set of chest x-rays, blood drawn for labs and a urine sample. I go back for another CT next Tuesday and will chat with my surgeon about that and final details for surgery as well. Feels like we are rushing along now.
I am pretty excited with the results of the day. It trumps the sense of overwhelming that is threatening. There is a little bit of trepidation in my mind though, just because this is a major surgery and is riskier than my first one. So many possible complications when you're dealing with the lungs and working so close to the heart. I am feeling almost 100% physically right now, so it's a good bet that my blood counts are up. And I plan to be extra careful to take care of myself in the next week and a half. I think I'm in really good shape to handle these surgeries and recover quickly.
My hope is pretty high and I know that I am in excellent hands. This thoracic surgeon is my favorite of all the doctors on my team. I know she really cares and that she is extraordinarily talented. She is always very clear and super informative, so I'll be more than prepared for the surgery. I just hope that the good news continues and each step is one step closer to being rid of this stupid cancer.