Thursday, September 8, 2011

Never Thought I Would Be Posting This

On Friday September 2nd, my oncologist diagnosed me with metastasized cancer. I have a 2.4 cm diameter tumor in the right lobe of my liver next to my gall bladder. I have to admit, I was convinced I would never be diagnosed with metastasis. I was certain the cancer was gone for good.

What's in my favor is that the five prognostic indicators used to determine risk are all in my favor.
  1. tumor size - small
  2. number of tumors - one
  3. less than 12-months since original treatment - it's been three years
  4. if lymph nodes were positive for cancer at original diagnosis - none were positive
  5. CEA aka cancer markers less than 200 - my CEA is 6.5
My doctor also believes the metastasis is likely a result of cancer cells that traveled from the (original) rectal tumor, through the vein that goes from the colon to the liver, and once the cells got to the liver, they stayed there for three years. And in the last six months the cells grew into a tumor large enough to be detectable. The plan is to surgically remove the tumor followed by six months of chemotherapy.

If my doctor's diagnosis is accurate, I have a 70% chance of being cured. And cured is defined as five years cancer-free. I'm getting a second opinion on Friday September 9th. If the treatment recommendation is the same, I'll schedule the surgery immediately following the second opinion.

In the mean time, Bert Scholl & Friends is scheduled to perform on Friday September 9th at O'Toole's in Auburn, NY. We likely won't have anymore gigs until after I recover from surgery. So Friday is going to be a fantastic night. And it's going to be exactly what I need.

And one last thing. For those of you I haven't contacted directly, I've got SO MUCH to manage and just haven't had a chance to call you yet. But I love you all the same.

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