Here's what's coming up tomorrow.
I have a 9:00 AM appointment with an oncologist in Oakland to discuss the biopsy results. If you've ready my previous entries, you know that I'm fully ready for a pretty severe diagnosis and a long battle ahead of me. God willing, it will be easier than that, but I have a pretty big growth inside my stomach and I'm just being realistic. We're in for a battle.
Mom and Andrew are going to come with me and ask most of the questions. To me, it will be a lot of technical terms and noise. But frankly, I'm not as concerned with exactly what I have (of course, I am concerned, don't get me wrong, but hear me out) as with what we're going to do about it.
I don't want negativity. I don't want survival rates. I don't want to hear what I can't do. I only want to hear what I can and will do to beat what's inside of me and get rid of it forever.
So as you travel in spirit with me tomorrow morning, please keep in mind this is still an early part of the journey. Depending on what I have, and assuming it's as serious as initially thought, we're going to get Stanford and/or UCSF involved, and they may have a completely different perspective on how to approach it. No offense or disrespect intended to my GP or tomorrow's oncologist whatsoever -- they are fine physicians in their own right, and their course of action could be the most appropriate. But, for instance, if I have a rare form of sarcoma, then I need to talk to an actual sarcoma expert at Stanford to get the best possible treatment protocol. So, like I said, tomorrow we start gathering information, but by no means is tomorrow the last word on what is going to happen.
I know a lot of you are anxious to hear the results and prognosis. I will try to get something up on the blog tomorrow with the details, but there are a few caveats here, and please keep them in mind when word is passed around (either on the blog or by phone) with what the current information is:
* Like I said, the outlook tomorrow is the first opinion, and could change. A second opinion from the big dogs at Stanford or UCSF is almost a guarantee. Their opinion might be exactly the same, but at least we'll have some consensus.
* Depending on how the day goes, I may not even be able to get to the blog tomorrow, and in that case, we'll have to phone tree everything out there. Andrew will be with me, he'll be able to call Matt and Bernard, they'll be able to get the info out to others, etc.
* MOST IMPORTANTLY: Please do not scurry to the internet, Google the exact terminology of what I have, and make a decision then and there about how difficult or easy you think this treatment is going to be. Each and every one of you has been so amazing to this point with your love, prayers and support, and now the last thing I need is someone calling or writing and saying "Oh, I'm so sorry" because they've read on Wikipedia that my form of cancer has a very low survival rate or something. Not that I expect this to happen, but I'm making sure to note it here so that it doesn't.
I am me, with my own brain, body, emotions, resolve, health, outlook, opinions, and everything else. I am not anyone else. The survival rates include everyone, old and young, healthy and infirm, positive attitudes and negative bring-me-downs -- it's a composite. I'm not a composite, I'm me, this is my cancer, and I'm determined to kick absolute ass on whatever I have. There may be some curve balls along the way, but if so, I'll pull a Pedro Serrano and figure out how to hit the bender just when I need it most.
If you're reading this blog it means you care about me, and by definition it means that I care about you too. We're moving along in this process -- first the H-bomb drop that I have a massive tumor in my stomach, then the biopsy, now the results. There's still a long way to go and you and I are still going to talk many times before this is over and behind me. So, just know that I'm feeling all the love and support, I always have been, and I take everyone's positive energy and prayers into that room with me tomorrow as we learn more about the battle ahead.
And when I do put the word out as to what this cancerous culprit is, remember that it's still only the beginning, and in my mind, I really don't care too much what it is, I only care about getting rid of it. Tuesday, May 20 is a big step in the journey, but it's only one step.
I'm riding a bit of the Xanax wave right now so I'm gonna pull a "Seacrest out" and hit the couch for a while. As always, I am overwhelmed by your outpouring of support and I truly believe that when I beat this thing, each of you will have had a significant part to play -- so keep sending me the positive energy, thoughts and prayers, and with that power behind us, anything is possible. Talk to you soon.
With much love,