Friday, February 27, 2009

More Waiting

Derek's follow-up with the surgeon went well yesterday. The incision is healing well & he had the staples removed. He's released for light duty at work - obviously no heavy lifting for another 5 weeks & he must mindful of fatigue.

Pathology results are in: he has embryonal carcinoma of the testis. This is the most common form of testicular cancer for his age group. Possible treatment options are: 1) follow-up testing & scans for a specified period of time - better known as "watch & wait method;" 2) removal of lymph nodes for further testing, which involves a complex surgery with a long recovery; 3) chemotherapy; and 4) any combination of the above.

Standard operating procedure when a positive result returns from pathology is to send the patient to oncology for a consult. When we asked the surgeon for his opinion about what method of treatment we might be taking, his answer was "my opinion is that you need to speak with the oncologist." Gee. Thanks for the reassurance. Don't get me wrong, I get it. In this sue-happy world that we live in, he's not willing to stick his neck out there when the oncologist needs to have a say. Still. Throw us a bone here!

So...today we got a second opinion from the head of urology at a large area hospital (a doctor who just happens to be a long-time friend of the family, as well). He spent a good thirty or forty-five minutes going over everything in detail, including diagnosis & treatment options. In his professional opinion based on the information at hand, he cannot see any reason why we will not be in the "watch and wait" treatment plan. While I felt confident, even yesterday, that this would be the answer we would receive, it was still nice hearing it from someone who knows a thing or two about testicular cancer & its treatments.

We have an appointment with the oncologist on Wednesday of next week. Regardless of outcome, we will be seeking a second opinion. That may seem odd. But as I've told several people, I would love to hear good news more than once.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

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