Thursday, May 22, 2008

You Want Fries With That?

This is a family blog, but cancer is an ugly subject, so if you're gonna follow along with me down this road, you have to be prepared for some pretty unsightly stuff. But that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun with things when the situation calls for it. So, that said ...

Remember yesterday when I said that Dr. Cecchi had ordered another ultrasound, although I had no idea why? Well, silly me -- turns out that it wasn't an ultrasound of the same area that has already been scanned, but rather a look at a more, uh, private spot below my belly.

Turns out that he wanted to make sure my "boys" were clean.

We got to the hospital this morning, I received my marching orders from a very nice receptionist, and checked over the course of action: I was there to get my testicles examined. We walked down to the ultrasound area and a very comely young lady took the printed orders from me, and before I knew it, I was ushered into a private room and told to disrobe from the waist down -- by this very same good-looking technician.

"I'll be back in a minute and we'll take a look," she told me before closing the curtain that separated the room from the hallway. Huh? What? We?

Well doesn't this just take the cake -- a cute woman wants to check out my li'l fellers, and it's for a medical reason. Naturally.

The pants and the skivvies came off and I laid down on my back with a blanket covering my lower half, and the technician came in and fired up the ultrasound machine. Soon she was checking out my li'l guy on the right side with the ultrasound machine, with me flat on my back, thinking that this was the ultimate of ironies. Jonas Salk doing an ultra on my nads? Not a problem. Nurse Ratched? There might have been a bit more pain involved, but okay, fine.

But this? This was just patently unfair.

She got through ultrasounding (is that a word?) the right testicle. "Looks fine," she said. "Nothing too exciting here." Oh, really? Speak for yourself.

She moved on to the left side, did some more of whatever it was that she was doing, and then put the blanket back over me. "Everything looks all right," she declared. "I'll show the pics to the doc, and you can clean yourself up, and we'll let you know if we need any more pictures." With that, she stepped past the curtain in the hall, not giving me the chance to ask if there were any other options on the menu that I could consider sampling before the consultation was over.

Okay, I know this whole thing might sound very demeaning to my very professional and competent technician, and that's not my intent. It's not her fault that she happens to be a good-looking lady that was required to check out my privates, just like it's not my fault that I happen to be a guy that has a weird preference for women checking out my privates because they want to, rather than scoping them out for evidence of cancer. That's just the way it works sometimes, and them's the breaks.

As Andy from Extras might want to know: Are you having a laugh? Is he having a laugh? Uh, yeah, I am, so although I know it might sound sexist, it's a joke.

The news on the, uh, "clearness" of my li'l fellers is both bad and good; bad, because it means that I don't have testicular cancer, which according to Dr. Cecchi would mean that we could "hit it out of the park" with the treatment -- it's just more common and more easily treatable than sarcoma, plain and simple. But the good is that my boys are clear, and I'm not gonna complain about that. The fewer the places that cancer shows up in my body, the better.

The second visit of the day with with a surgeon, Dr. Upadhyah. We had a good visit with him, and he outlined the potential treatment protocols we're looking at to beat this thing. I'll spare the specifics and just say we still need more information to make any firm decisions, including a much more accurate CT scan from a machine that can produce a 3D image of my stomach, so we can see much more precisely which organs are affected and which ones aren't.

Really though, what it basically comes down to is one of two likely options: either we'll have surgery to remove most of the tumor, and blast the remainder with chemotherapy, or we'll begin with chemo to shrink some of the tumor, and then have surgery to take out the rest. Both are key components of the treatment and it's now an issue of which will come first.

Of course, the Stanford expert, Dr. Jacobs, will have her own say tomorrow morning. She's an expert on sarcomas and may have an entirely different opinion, or may have a very strong preference to a particular course of treatment -- we'll see about that tomorrow. It's just another valuable piece of the puzzle as we head down the road towards treating this evil thing and getting rid of it -- it goes without saying that having an actual expert on the specific disease weigh in on the solution should be an immeasurable asset to us.

A couple things before I sign off. First, Tommy and Loretta's boy T.L. came through his procedure okay and should be out of intensive care tomorrow. That's good news. And I feel really good about what happened today in both medical appointments, despite the fact that some of you might think that first visit this morning might have left me feeling a little blue.

Finally, thanks for the various comments, suggestions on how to handle medical insurance, and the humor and support and love I get coming through various forms of communication. Family, friends, and people I've never even met are reaching out to me and that means everything -- you have no idea what a difference it makes on my mindset and my outlook. Please keep the positive vibes and love and prayers and info coming, and please know that my gratitude for that knows no bounds.

I hope everyone is gearing up for a long, fun, restful holiday weekend -- after the consultation tomorrow morning, I have no agenda for the next three days other than to enjoy life. That's the way it should be.

With much love,


Kim said...

Sounds like today was--erm--a ball. :)

Looney said...

Kool, dood. Good to hear positive news. Post pics next time.

No, no, no, not of your "boys." Of the technician.

I mean, wot.

Jenee said...

Bet Matt really wants that t-shirt now, eh?

Andi said...

Did she at least buy you a drink first?

Barry said...

While she was "playing" with the boys how was Master Harold?