Thursday, December 15, 2005

Doctor as a Second Language

"You are essentially cured!"

That was the good news Hutson gave me during our appointment yesterday. I can't say that it really sank in, I'm only half way done (not even that if you count all the times I'll be seeing him over the next five years). Of course, we didn't really spend much time on my being "essentially cured". We mostly talked about how he couldn't be sure what type of cancer I had --- sure, the biopsy results showed that it was a Seminoma but I had a needle biopsy that only tested three parts of the tumor. There could be some Non-Seminoma in there as well as Teratoma (what's that?! Usually, it's a benign growth made up of normal, non-cancerous, cells). Teratoma, unfortunately, is not responsive to chemo (it's removed with surgery) --- great, I could have spent nine weeks in Hell for nothing! We'll never really know what I've had. It's also been frustrating (for Hutson) that my tumor markers have been normal the whole time. Then he warned me about what may lie ahead. The fun stuff! He wanted me to have a CT Scan, MRI, chest X-ray and sonogram after I get back from Key West so that we can see how much the tumor has shrunk. Then there's the possibility of surgery (he's going to refer me to a urologist who will help me make that decision) and more chemo after that. So, unfortunately, it's not exactly the time for a big celebration (a little one, yes --- I'm done with chemo!!!).