Thursday, October 20, 2005

No Surgery, Not Yet

Well, today's appointment wasn't the best. To be fair, it wasn't the worst either. Basically, the PET scan seems to indicate that the cancer has spread to the right adrenal gland. To our doctor, this indicates that is has probably traveled or is currently en route to other places, and they can't take the chance of letting the cancer grow somewhere else while Dalton recovers from the surgery that would have removed his esophagus and surrounding areas.

So, the game plan has changed. They are sending out the biopsies for analysis to help determine which chemotherapy agents will be most effective at killing this particular type of tumor. Dalton has an MRI on Wednesday to rule out a benign growth on the adrenal gland and an appointment with a USC oncologist at Norris Cancer Center on Friday at 12:30pm. They will set his course of treatment for both chemotherapy and radiation at that time and likely begin the treatments the week of October 31. The treatments will last about six weeks, and for four of those weeks, he will be receiving both chemo and daily radiation. At the conclusion of the treatments, he will undergo follow up scans, gather his strength and hopefully have surgery around the first of the year.

Thankfully, they are not saying that it is inoperable, simply that they need to kill any systemic cancer cells before they do the actual cutting. The doctor is still aiming for "curative" treatments rather than "palliative" treatments that simply lesson the symptoms and prolong life for a few months. Obviously, this pre-operative treatment is key.

Dalton is getting very tired of not eating. Ensure is making him physically ill and the thought of anything sweet and creamy is enough to make him gag. Unfortunately, today's news puts off any hope of real food for at least another month. Wish I could make that better for him, but I feel a lot helpless.

Thanks again for everyone's prayers.


Anonymous Joy Kennelly said...

Hi, Just wanted to let you know that I'm so sorry to hear your news. My prayers and love is with you. Please call me whenever you need to pray, or want me to pray. I work from home and can do it without much trouble.

Again, I'm so sorry. Joy Kennelly

8:17 PM  
Anonymous dennis culp said...

Dear Hardings, the Culps are thinking about you and lifting you up. Lord, for total healing and some comfort along the way - amen.

The bravest thing of all is hope.

Dennis, Melinda and Copeland.

7:03 AM  
Blogger arlene said...

dear dalton and trisha i sorro to hear about the bad news. i just wanted to let you know that i love you guys and im also praying.

8:28 AM  

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