Yesterday, I met with the oncologist who will be performing my surgery on June 30. I learned that he will be making as small of an incision as possible, from his hand signals probably 4-6 inches, and part of that will be over my scar from last fall. Hopefully the recovery from this surgery will be quicker than the last one since it will not be as invasive.
If the surgery goes as planned, and they don’t find any additional cancer in my abdominal wall or in the abdominal fluid, then the plan right now is to have radiation and not chemotherapy. The radiation would be fairly rigorous — every day for a month — but it might not cause all of the more immediate side effects I had with chemotherapy. There could be greater long-term risks, though, which I will have to discuss with the radiation oncologist when that time comes.
If they do discover that there is further cancer activity that did not show up on either the CT or PET scans, which is still possible, then I would follow surgery with chemotherapy. The specifics of that have not been decided since it is only a possibility.
The suspicious lymph node that I mentioned in my earlier post actually is just below my collar bone on the right side. It’s much too high to investigate it with this surgery, and my doctor feels it is most likely not cancer. He will be keeping an eye on it, and if anything develops there, I may be undergoing another surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, etc. depending on what transpires.
In my discussions with various doctors over the past few weeks, they all have agreed that cancer that recurs is much more difficult to cure. However, they also have all agreed that this type of cancer can be managed somewhat, depending on each recurrence, and my oncologist said yesterday that he is still treating me curatively — in other words, he is still operating with the possibility that the cancer could all be removed and killed with this round of treatment.
I have recently begun praying that Jesus would heal me. I realize that He may not, but it is a deep desire of mine. And by asking, I feel I am saying to Him that I know He alone can do it. Either way, I know that He is completely good, completely loving, and completely powerful. And I trust Him.