Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We have a diagnosis

Joe's most excellent and super-communicative doctor called us at 5:30 today. We'd already given up on hearing anything today based on our earlier-afternoon call with him, but he called as soon as he had results, knowing we wouldn't want to wait. Such a relief to have information. The best news of the call: the doctor insists that if you're gonna get cancer, this is the one to get.

So here's the deal: Joe has follicular lymphoma, stage 3. The tumor, which is what we are now calling it, measures 12 x 6 centimeters. It's non-Hodgkins lymphoma but because it is Stage 3 (which identifies it as fast-growing, rather than slow) it will respond to treatment like Hodgkins, which is a really good thing. Because it is an aggressive tumor, it'll take up the chemo really well -- in the doctor's words, it will "melt away from chemo."

Joe has an appointment on Friday with oncology, where we will get more answers. I'll be along to scribe and scribble, adding notes to our "Living with Lymphoma" notebook which we started last week. Though he didn't want to promise, Joe's doctor seemed to think that chemo would take care of this nasty sucker - possibly no radiation required. Joe will also have a PET scan (see info below lifted from mayoclinic.com) at some point soon to illuminate the extent of any and all tumors.

Crazy as it may seem, we are so relieved. In fact, we're a little giddy. Joe just referred to himself as a total lymphomaniac. We will sleep better tonight than we have in three weeks, since we started down this path.

BIG LOVE to all our friends and family for the support that is getting us through this. We really do feel so very lucky and grateful to be held in so many hearts and minds. XXXXX

* For a PET scan, a small amount of a radioactive tracer is injected into your body. This tracer is then absorbed by your tissues. Tumors are typically more metabolically active than other tissues, so they absorb more of the tracer. A PET scan also may be repeated after the first or second course of chemotherapy to see if the treatment is working. Tumors that respond to chemotherapy don't absorb the tracer.


Hilary Havarti said...

Phew! Such a relief to have some answers. I know Joe is gonna kick this in the keester.

Scotto said...

You've made my day. What a relief. Now get out there and whup that sucker's ass. Love to you both. Scotto

Anonymous said...

We are definitely holding you in our hearts and minds!

With Love & Support,
Jen O'Keeffe & Family

acorn said...

Sending you our love, and prayers for your healing. Thank you for sharing the good news on diagnosis.
Merrill and Pat

ChloJoMama said...

I am glad I fund-raised $10,000 in 2001 LLS. Joe can nail this, he's got all the love and support he needs!

All our love from the Haraden-Gorski clan!

Alex said...

I'm trying to think of something not trite to say. I know from some experience that this all sucks and that I pretty much think of you all d-d-day!