good times

We had a nice day today. We enjoyed our trip to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to meet with Dr. R the Surgical Oncologist. The drive (2.5 hrs) and the wait (1 hr 10min) were longer than our appointment (35 minutes), but all in all, it was a good trip.

We had a leisurely drive to Boston without too much traffic, arrived early and enjoyed a healthy lunch at O’ Naturals. Then we meandered over to DF, where we expertly found our way to the Sarcoma floor and took our place in the waiting room. Dana Farber was packed today, a lot of people have cancer. We sat right next to a man who looked about the same age as my husband.  You would never have known anything was wrong with him: only the white patient band around his wrist gave him away. In cancer waiting rooms people should speak to each other. I think everyone should have a name tag with their cancer printed on it.

We were escorted to Dr R’s room and told it would be a while.  I said to my man, “hey, that guy was about your age, I wonder what kind of cancer he had?” “Probably Sarcoma,” said my man. Then he confessed that he had peeked into the wife’s bag and seen a print out entitled “something, something familial polyposes” or something like that. I immediately googled it to see what it was. We were interrupted by Dr. R.

Dr. R came in and talked about the surgery. It was a ‘good’ talk, there was no scary stuff. We learned some new things: my man’s recovery time will be longer than we thought, there won’t be a plastic surgeon involved, the surgery and my man’s hospital stay will be at Brigham and Women’s and not at DF. The toughest part of the surgery will be reconstructing part of my man’s abdominal wall. They will use this stuff and it will stay in him forever. My man will have an epiderral and have to wear a “binder” wrapped around his waist for several weeks. The tumor is easily ‘extractable’ and they expect to get negative margins. We will have to wait a week after the surgery for those results.

We also learned that it may not be Leiomyosarcoma, but rather shows properties of MPNST (Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor) or Rhabdomyosarcoma (although they doubt it is this one, tumor is in the wrong place and my man is too old.). My man’s cancer can not be clearly defined. I’ll take that as a positive. Unfortunately this sarcoma is about the same as LMS in terms of its’ scariness, but maybe if it isn’t clearly either of them that is a good thing.

Overall it was a reassuring visit. I am almost looking forward to our next trip.


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