Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water….
I got a call from a physician’s assistant in Dr. Lance Pagliaro’s office today. She is part of the team that is responsible for my care at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. She, along with Dr. Pagliaro and Dr. Christopher Wood as well as a host of pathologists, radiologists and other “ists,” all work in tandem within the genitourinary oncology clinic.
She informed me that the M. D. Anderson radiologists’ reading of the CT scan that I had done at The Medical Center in June showed that in addition to the left adrenal metastasis (which has been confirmed to be renal cell carcinoma), I also have two small nodules on the upper pole of Strainer, my remaining kidney. That is not what I wanted to hear, but this news confirms that the time has come for me to take one of the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) that I have not wanted to have to take.
I have enjoyed a good quality of life during most of the just over three years since the diagnosis of renal cell cancer in May of 2009. These drugs are very potent (an oral chemotherapy is the closest description I can muster) and can wreak havoc with a body. Depending on which one I choose, I’ll likely have to deal with some significant side effects. The hope is that I’ll respond well to the drug and that these three existing tumors will shrink and allow the inevitable surgery to be done sooner and be more successful.
I will discuss my decision with Dr. Pippas here at the John B. Amos Cancer Center who continues to oversee my case. We continue to be confident that we’ve made good decisions throughout this cancer journey and as we prayerfully consider this decision, we plan on making the right one.
I’m guessing the therapy will begin soon, so if I’m off my game the next time we talk, I hope you’ll cut me some slack. By the way, the doctor said I should definitely not vacuum, take out the garbage, empty the dishwasher or cut the grass. I have also been told that I should continue to pester Marquette McKnight, as her only (and also faux) brother.