Friday, December 16, 2005

Good News, Bad News, No News

The Good News and The Bad News:

Dalton is home.
He is finished with radiation.
He is finished with chemo.
The nausea should resolve in the next couple of days.
His energy should come back as long as he can get some nutrition.
He doesn't have to go back to the doctor until sometime in January.
He will probably feel pretty decent for the holidays.
We finally had a bottom line talk with Dr. Iqbal. (She is going on maternity leave in January and wanted to talk with us before she left)
Dalton's cancer is stage IV.
In most circumstances, stage IV esophageal cancer is not curable. They do not do surgery. The chemo and radiation are palliative.
Because of Dalton's age and health, the team has wanted to be as aggressive and optimistic as possible.
The surgery for this cancer is REALLY tough. No one is the same afterward. It is a massive surgery. As Dr. Iqbal described it, "This isn't colon surgery." (I thought colon surgery was pretty bad)
If the scans show a great response to the treatment, then Dalton should have the surgery.
If the scans don't show a great response, Dr. Iqbal doesn't want Dalton to go through that kind of a procedure.
Dr. Iqbal suspects that the surgeon, Dr. Demeester will suggest surgery regardless of what the scans show.
Dr. Demeester and his team are "very agressive."
If Dalton has the surgery, it will be followed by at least four more months of chemo.
If Dalton doesn't have the surgery, he will have to try a different chemo and simply treat the symptoms.
If he does nothing, statistically he has about six months.

This was not news to me. I had read it online.

It was news to Dalton who up to this point has followed the policy, "Don't ask, don't tell."

Dr. Iqbal says that it's best to stay focused on the positive. Go ahead and ignore the bad stuff. Focus on curing the cancer and living. It is a good defense mechanism. But, don't go through unecessary treatment if it's not going to help.

She has a patient, a young woman who also had stage IV disease. She has had two surgeries, three rounds of chemo, and has been disease free for three years. They think they've cured her. They're hoping the same for Dalton.

For now, his job is to get fat and enjoy these weeks. He has a long road ahead of him and he'll need all the strength he can muster.


Anonymous Simone said...

Dear Tricia,

It was so good just to see you the other day. Thank you for letting many of us into your life via this blog. I pray often for you, Dalton and the kids.
With love Simone

2:50 PM  

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