Nishant is an interventional radiologist. He’s young, engaging, handsome, articulate and well trained. Here’s where he was trained:
Henry Ford Hospital/Wayne State University
Residency, Radiology, 2006–2011
Fellowship, Vascular and Interventional Radiology, 2011–2012
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Class of 2006
Mark is an anesthesiologist. I took an instant liking to him as he talked. He seemed focused and knowledgeable and because he is chief of the anesthesia group at Columbus Regional Health and is responsible for several offices in other states. He spent quite a bit of time with me before the procedure I had on Thursday morning, explaining what types of things they’re preparing for in a microwave ablation of a renal cell tumor in my left adrenal gland. He is board certified and licensed in several states. Here’s where he was trained:
Medical University of South Carolina
Class of 1989
Internship and Residency
Georgetown University Hospital
Thank God in heaven that my world intersected with these great doctors at just the right time. If not for them by my side on my case Thursday morning things would be very different in my world today. If I had a world at all.
Let me take you back through our decisions that led us to deciding to undergo microwave ablation to remove the renal cell metastasis in my left adrenal gland this past Thursday: My CT scan from July 22 showed that a tumor in my left adrenal gland had started growing again 23 months after I started a drug, Votrient, that kept the tumor at bay. I took the terrible drug for 15 months and stopped it in January of this year, after it became apparent that the drug might kill me. It robbed me of my dark hair, 100 pounds of my flesh, my taste buds, my favorable vomit streak and visited upon me some other even more awful things that I’ll spare you from reading.
Dr. Pippas said at the meeting after the scan that he felt a surgical option might be the route we should take. I visited with Dr. Andy Roddenberry at St. Francis Hospital and he gave us a good understanding of how serious this surgery would be: Open incision of 10″, 6 days in the hospital and a full six weeks of recovery. A lot of pain and a real solid blow to my already compromised immune system.
A few days later, after a lot of thought, Andy Pippas called me on the phone and said he had a change of heart about the direction he had advised me to take. He felt that a big surgery shouldn’t be done at this point. It was better to find a less invasive procedure that could take out the tumor, not negatively affect my immune system and still leave us with surgery as a next step if we needed it later.
About that same time, Dr. Granville Batte called me and told me about Dr. DeQuadros and his skills as an interventional radiologist. All my research told me that this young doctor had the chops to do this procedure. That he was highly skilled and he was the right person to choose to do the procedure. We went to see him and Jill and I both felt like I was in good hands with him. So we scheduled the procedure for Thursday, August 28 at Midtown Medical Center.
I had never met Mark Pinosky until Thursday morning, when he appeared at my bedside to discuss my case prior to surgery. I’m thankful he was there and all his excellent training was brought to bear to save my life when my adrenal gland sent my blood pressure into the stratosphere right in the middle of the ablation procedure.
The CT-guided microwave ablation takes place in a CT suite, not in a surgical suite. I was placed face down in the CT machine and Dr. DeQuadros used the CT to guide a needle-like probe into the tumor. In a discussion on Friday morning in his follow up visit after the procedure, he told me that he needed a four-minute burn to kill the tumor. He said he inserted the probe into the adrenal gland and started the burn.
My adrenal gland did what it does and ramped up my blood pressure and the procedure had to be stopped multiple times while efforts were underway to drive my blood pressure down. Dr. DeQuadros ran a central line into a vessel behind my knee that gave them beat by beat access to my heart.
They were able to deal with blood pressures that went as high as 300/200, the corresponding bottoms that would have followed with the introduction of powerful drugs to drive my blood pressure down, and still get the procedure completed. Both of these great doctors have promised me some time to talk about the procedure for inclusion in this blog. I want to be sure to capture my thoughts and the thoughts of the doctors about this promising minimally-invasive way to deal with RCC mets in the adrenal gland.
I’m writing this from memory and from audio recordings of my talk with doctors after the procedure, so I’ll likely revisit this after I have a clearer view of how the procedure unfolded. But, regardless of my description, the medical talent with me in that room on Thursday was brought to bear on a difficult situation to what will likely be a good outcome. So thankful to my God, my medical team, my family and my prayer warriors.
Needless to say, I’ll be in my pew this morning at St. Matthews in-the-Pines Episcopal Church. I have much to be thankful for. Please excuse this rambling post. I wanted to get something out and I don’t think I’ve been as articulate as I try to be in this space. Just wanted everyone to know that I’m OK and hopeful about what lies ahead.