Time to let the cat’s outta the bag... And I don't really like cats (well except for Brandy who was my first love, and Gorby RIP, and Duncan my new love)
So Craig had a 6 month follow up PET scan on June 8th.
We were supposed to have a follow up with the oncologist on June 15th however Craig was away in California for a family reunion. I had called to reschedule not thinking anything about it...
On Friday June 15th (the date of our original appointment) the Dr's office called 16 times. I was at work so my phone was on silent. Dr Miles was unaware that we had rescheduled, I mean this was his 6 month follow up, he was feeling fine, No symptoms, and business as usual.
Turns out there is new uptake on the PET scan. Meaning there is a "new area of concern" Dr Miles left me a phone message. At first I was really upset. I mean how dare she drop a bomb like that. But she was leaving for vacation for a week and had notified the Cardiovascular Thoracic surgeon that Craig would need an immediate biopsy. She left a message because if the surgeon’s office called to set up the surgery we would have had no idea what was going on.
I called Craig while he was in Vegas, played him the message. We were both bummed but Craig chooses not to let it get him down and had a fabulous time with his family anyways. Telling only those close to him what was going on.
When he returned on the 13th I picked him up at the airport and we were off to meet the surgeon for the pre-op.
This is Craig’s PET scan, technology still amazes me what it can do! The new tumor in this picture is the glowing yellow ball on the right side of his neck (right side in the picture left side in real life)
This is another version of pictures, in this picture if you imagine one of the vegetable slicers cutting cross sections across your body, this picture was taken from his shoulders in the picture on the right you can see the contrast in red the "tumor" is the one that does not belong is the lone one on the right side.
So we waited for the surgeon’s office to call. And when they did not. I called them. Turns out the surgeon was also on vacation... for 3 weeks.
So I talked to the nurse "So let me get this straight, his oncologist calls and says he needs immediate surgery for a biopsy to confirm if this is a re-occurrence and you’re telling me now we need to wait 3 weeks? To find out if it is Cancer again? 3 weeks?"
She called the radiologists office and Dr Smith (Craig’s Oncology Radiologist) suggested they could complete the biopsy with a CT guided needle biopsy. Basically they inject dye, use a big fancy machine to get the spot to get a sample.
I packed the surgery essentials (can you tell I am a stress eater? lol)
We get a call the next day that the pathology is back.
It comes back Non-diagnostic. It was explained they did not get enough sample.
Craig needs another surgery.
Friday the 29th we met with the oncologist. It was the appointment we had re-booked.
First thing she did was apologize for leaving the message.
She then went on to explain what non-diagnostic means (too small a sample, a crushed sample, not enough samples) and pulled the pathology reports for us.
Turns out that big fancy machine and the neurologist that preformed the CT guided biopsy.... Yeah he missed. Did not even get ANY lymph node tissue.
Seriously. A neurosurgeon?
Anyways, now we wait. Craig will be in San Antonio until July 12th and the surgeon will be back the 9th, so we will wait till Craig gets back probably Monday the 19th for the surgery.
It’s going to be another big one. Where the tumor is located there are nerves and veins running through it to the brain, it also rests right beside his spinal cord.
We played the what if's with the oncologist (well I did) because I wanted to get a better look at what all of this is going to look like.
If it’s a confirmed re-occurrence she said they would probably do a different more aggressive regime of chemotherapy.
Because of the FAST timeframe of the re-occurrence (less than 6 months in remission) she also mentioned the chance of a bone marrow transplant.
We did not even entertain the what if's if it was a different Cancer...
So we wait.
We are both in good spirits. Until we have all the information all we can do is pray and hope for the best. We were not going to say anything but I the more people praying and sending good wishes and thoughts the better....
Let me know if you have any questions. I will continue to update as we get more information.