Wednesday, May 13, 2009
We had an appointment with a radiology oncologist in Knoxville last Tuesday and I forgot to give an update on what we found out from him. I woke up that morning with stomach problems and came very close to just going back to bed, not having much hope that I would like this doctor. But I got ready and went. I'm glad I did. I really liked this doctor. He is at Baptist West. After examining my mouth and neck, he sat down and explained why he felt I needed the radiation. (Because of the way this cancer was tracking my facial nerves and because of the risk of it metastasizing to my lymph nodes.) He spent probably 45 minutes or more just talking to us and answering our questions. He has scheduled me for a PET scan (this next Monday, May 18th), to see if it has spread to my lymph nodes. I will return to his office on the 19th for the results. If it has spread I will need a much higher dose of radiation than I will need if it has not. Then on Thursday, May 21st I return to Nashville for my first follow-up appointment with my surgeon Dr. Netterville. Then I will be ready to start all the prep work for the radiation with the Dr. at Baptist West. He said the prep stuff will take about 7 days. I figure I will probably start the radiation treatments by the first of June. So much to look forward to!!!!! I will need probably 30 treatments total, one a day, five days a week, for six weeks. Each treatment will only last 7-8 minutes. He said the side effects tend to start being more severe after the first two weeks. He said the side effects are actually the result of the radiation build up in the body. I should not lose all my hair, just where it is radiated. It will cause burns on my skin where they radiate. I will have a sore throat, my mouth will be sore, my nose will be sore, and because my nasal cavity is open inside my mouth I will more than likely experience nose bleeds. Even having said all this, I felt much better after seeing this doctor. His "bed-side manner" was much better than the last Dr. we saw in Nashville. I try to deal with one thing at a time as far as dealing with all this, so my first concern is the PET Scan scheduled for Monday. Please help me to pray the Lord's will be done concerning what the results show. I am a little nervous, but I know if the Lord's will is done, His grace will be sufficient for me!