On Wednesday morning we got up very early and we were on the road by 6am. My Father, my Mother and myself. We were finally on our long awaited journey. We were on our way to the radiology oncologist consult at the cancer center in New Jersey. The drive was probably about 1 1/2 hour long and our appointment was at 8:30 but I knew my Dad was nervous and I wanted him to be extra early so that he wouldn’t have more stress and could be there and just settle in.
As I stated in my last post he didn’t look well and hadn’t been eating right, so I am becoming even more concerned about him. We had all our eggs in one basket with this consult, we needed this, we were depending on this, we couldn’t move forward without it.
We were of course very early so we had a good hour to sit and relax. We received a pre-packet with a ton of forms to fill out before even entering the building, but there was more waiting for him, so that kept his mind busy for a while and helped us pass the time. We were called into the doctors office right on time. The doctor’s nurse asked my Dad a lot of very important health questions, and then the doctor came in. She went over his medical history, did a full examination and then sat down to talk to us. She said what we had known and heard already, words like…very rare, MAC, sweat glands, not a lot of case history. She had told us that she believed he might have success with radiation therapy. There is not enough evidence (case study) to substantiate it not being successful. She also said that after he does the course of radiation therapy that it is likely a follow up surgery will be needed to make sure the radiation therapy did indeed get the cancer. She explained in great length and detail about the side effects and what to expect with the radiation treatments. There was a lot of information to take in.
The doctor told us that she believed the cancer is not deep but wide, which in her words is a good thing because it is easier to treat. This has to do with where the cancer is (in his cheek) there is not a lot of wiggle room so to speak which traditionally makes treatment more difficult. We were very happy to hear that. My Dad was very happy to hear that news. Rightly so the re-constructive surgery he has already had done on his cheek has effected him emotionally. This news he later told me was the best news of the day for him. That made me happy as well. Any one word, any one sentence, that made him happy, made me happy.
She said that she is going to take all her information, what she thinks the course of action for my Father should be, and bring it to the doctor conference. She explained that the doctor conference is when they all sit down together and discuss patients to bring together all their experience and knowledge to give the patient the best possible treatments available. We have the results of that conference with the other top notch doctors at the cancer center within 7-10 days.
7-10 days and our journey will have purpose. 7-10 days and our journey will once again begin again. 7-10 days and we will have a definite course of action.
After leaving the cancer center we went and enjoyed lunch at a local diner. We sat down quiet for a while, then began to dissect the morning consult. The result left us with far more answers this time than questions. My Dad was very happy. He had a ray of hope now. I believe his mind had been beginning to wander off a bit the past few weeks. I believe that it has been effecting him and his diet. In fact I know it has, I’ve witnessed it first hand. It is very hard having your parent go through such a difficult time and not being able to just walk across the room and see how he is doing, to just go across the street and knock on the door just to see how he is doing. It was indeed nice having both my parents up here with us if only for two days. I believe it did them good to get away for even the little while they did. You know, sometimes a change of scenery is good for the soul. I also believe that having a definitive course of action laid out in front of you from top to bottom works wonders for the easing of your mind.
….and so with this the journey goes forward.