So we’ve had the surgical follow up and visits with the oncologist. News has been…well…interesting to say the least
· DH‘s healing is very well, the surgeon was not concerned about his various aches or pains and will clear him for physiotherapy/rehab in 2 weeks’ time.
· DH now weighs 148lbs (which at 6 feet and change is FUCKING thin), but again, the surgeon wasn’t concerned about this after reading DH‘s food diary. He’s been cleared to eat whatever he feels like/whatever he can as he’s hungry. The surgeon suspects he’s “bottomed out” weight-wise and should slowly rebound – until chemotherapy starts)
· The tumour was 3cm (approximately 1.25 inches) in diameter and completely contained.
· It was diagnosed as being full-blown T1 pancreatic cancer
· Of the 17 lymph nodes removed, 7 of them had cancer or “pre-cancer” cells.
· Full diagnosis is T1 N3 Pancreatic Cancer, localized to the head of the pancreas and bile duct.
· Full confirmation is Stage 1 cancer.
· The cancer cells were contained to the pancreas head and bile duct and not found in the margins of the portions of the pancreas, duodenum, bile duct or the stomach that were removed.
· There were also no “pre-cancer” or abnormal cells present in the other tissue samples either
· What this means:
· DH has been brought into our cancer treatment center for treatment of gastrointestinal cancer.
· We have been assigned to a medical oncologist, nurse practitioner and social worker
· Chemotherapy for at least 6 months is a given. This will be in the form of a weekly injection every week for 3 weeks, then a 4th week off.
· They are trying to get him handled at the local cancer center, however due to the nature of the cancer (pancreatic), they wanted to get him treated ASAP so it may have to be in Toronto at the main Canadian cancer center (Princess Margaret – he is officially a patient there now as they are associated with the transplant clinic regardless). The oncologist’s (who is 76 years old) comment was “One does not fuck with pancreatic cancer.”
· Chemotherapy will start next week in Toronto, I’ve arranged transportation with LCA for this week and the Canadian Cancer Society in the weeks to come.
So not good news, but not bad news either. The chance of a cure with surgery alone is 25%, the chance of a cure with surgery and chemo is 75-85%.
The long and winding road continues!