We’ve got a down weekend out here in Houston. I miss home. We feel like we’ve been gone for a month. I know I have gained five pounds since we got here. It is always so much fun to explore new places to eat. Restaurants that are different from the places we always go at home. Houston is a huge city. Six and a half million people of all kinds. With such a large medical community (I heard M. D. Anderson employs 14,000) there are people from every corner of the world in this city and authentic restaurants are here to serve them the food they eat at home. We have enjoyed exploring the tastes and ambiance of these mostly tiny places. It has been particularly nice to be able to hook up with Susan and Fred Morgan from Columbus who are both fighting the fight and making the best of what M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has to offer them, just like me.
Jill and I were in an elevator this morning at M.D.A. heading for a consultation with the anesthesia department in advance of my needle biopsy, which now is scheduled for Monday at 1 p.m. If everything goes according to plan, we’ll be leaving here on Tuesday headed back to God’s country.
I have really screwed this trip up, though. With the exception of Dr. Ken Ogan, who is the Emory Urologist who performed my robotic, laparoscopic nephrectomy in June of 2009, every doctor who has touched me has been a friend of mine. Some closer than others, but I have known them, played golf with them, ridden bikes with them, drunk beer with them. That makes for pretty casual meetings when we’re in their offices before or after a procedure. That luxury has yielded incredible results for us personally and medically. I have been well cared for.
I’ll just say, that “stuff” doesn’t play out here. For the most part, these doctors are the best of the best in the world. I went into our meeting with the surgeon, who is really the only person I absolutely wanted to see out here, with a bit too much of the same casual demeanor that I have come to expect in my doctors’ visits over the past three years. It didn’t go well. At all. I asked too many questions. Leading questions. He didn’t want to be led. At all.
I am going to do whatever I have to do to repair the damage I might have caused. This guy is a great surgeon. I’m sure there are others, but I don’t know them. I want Dr. Chris Wood to be my surgeon. I’m about to take a big gulp of humble pie, or whatever else I have to do to get things back on track. God, I miss Andy Pippas. Brilliant, kind, devoid-of-ego, mad scientist Dr. Andrew William Pippas. We’ve got some stuff to talk about the next time I see him.
So the biopsy will be done on Monday. It is almost certainly going to indicate a cancerous tumor on my left adrenal gland. Dr. Wood wants a six-month regimen of Sunitinib (Sutent). I haven’t discussed this with Dr. Pagliaro, my M. D. Anderson “team leader.” I think he’s going to be surprised that Dr. Wood doesn’t think an immediate surgery is what I need. I left my appointment with Dr. Pagliaro this past Monday thinking surgery was probably a slam dunk.
I do not want to take that drug, unless there is a clear, logical reason for me to do so. I’m not convinced that time is now. But what do I know? We’re only talking about my life.