We're back from Tampa where we met with a specialist who reviewed Mike's case and made some recommendations. On the drive over, Mike and I said we just hoped to hear something positive, just one thing. Our biggest fear was that they would tell us there was nothing that could be done and we should just go home and get our affairs in order.
But they didn't...
They told us that Mike stands a better chance than most at fighting this stupid disease. It's not curable, the doctor said, but he has had patients who have lived many years with this kind of cancer. He said the fact that Mike is healthy, young and isn't having symptoms all play in his favor. We celebrated our small victory with some wings and a beer at Hooter's. That's right, Hooter's.
But there's a big if hanging out there...
They want to run another test to see if they can pinpoint the origin. This test -- which just involves dye on a slide from a tissue sample that's already been retrieved from Mike's neck -- will look for melanoma. Apparently, sometimes this is the source for carcinoma of unknown primary. Mike doesn't really have a suspcious mole or anything but he has had plenty of bad sunburns and spent lots of time outside as a kid. And the doctors at Moffitt made it very clear to us that we DO NOT want it to be a melanoma. It will be a couple of weeks before we get the results.
So it's a weird mix of feelings. So much relief about Mike's chance and extreme fear that it could be something even worse.
In the meantime, the doctor recommended a course of chemo to fight what's in his neck and chest. The Moffitt people will coordinate with his Melbourne doctors and he could start in a few weeks. He would have two three-week cycles -- chemo on day 1 and then not for 20 days, then chemo again and not for 20 days. After that more scans to see how the tumors reacted. If they're getting smaller, they'll keep up with that chemo. If not, they'll reevaluate the drugs they're using. We're told the first week of the three-week cycle, the week the chemo is given, can be rough. But the other two weeks are ok. The doctor told Mike he should be fine working through all this.
So that's where we are.
We're looking forward to the weekend. We're thinking about taking Julia to the beach. I promise some pictures....
We love hearing from you all. Call or e-mail us anytime.