We got what the oncologist called "relatively good news" yesterday. It is not a synovial sarcoma, which was what was expressly feared. The tumor board at Memorial Sloan Kettering absolutely ruled that out. The tumor board came up with three possible things: the first two are benign and the last is a non-aggressive low growth malignancy. They just cannot be sure. Yeah, that's right, I stumped the tumor board consisting of specially trained radiologists and pathologists and oncologists.
So, here's what they recommend (and what I will be doing): surgery on Nov. 4 to remove the entire mass by way of a semi-wide excision. The surgeon will not go as wide as if it were a synovial sarcoma but not as narrowly as if they knew it to be benign. This means that I will have a 3 hour or so surgery and they will take a good chunk (but not 70% as I had once feared) of my triceps leaving me with months of physical therapy and a permanent impairment. There will be no chemo and probably no radiation at all. That's good news.
The impairment bit is bad news. I take tremendous pleasure out of my daily game of squash on the weekdays and my tennis on the weekends. That will stop for months and may not come back. If I suffer nerve damage during the surgery that he, a micro surgeon, cannot successfully repair, then I can really kiss full use of my arm goodbye. The possibility of nerve damage is quite real, we were told yesterday.
But this is still, mostly, good news. It is better news than we feared, if not as good as we were hoping for. I am not looking forward to the 4th.
Yesterday, emotionally, was a horrible day. I won't delve into the details here (or anywhere) as I am still numb from it all. Suffice it to say that I was a total basket case. Probably still am. Can't really just flip a switch and turn it off. The mental connective tissues are still stressed, I think, and just because most of the pressure was removed does not mean they snap back into place. No, I understand that there is no such thing as mental connective tissue (at least in the way I am using this) but that's just how I visualize and hence describe it here.
Thank you all for your notes and letters. I am sorry that I have not answered them; I will. They have meant a great deal, more than I can really say.Posted by Random Penseur at October 24, 2009 04:34 AM | TrackBack