Thursday, July 29, 2010

Official Diagnosis: Adenocarcinoma

Two things of significance happened today: (1) we got the biopsy results back and the news is good in that it could've been worse. Had the cancer been either osteosarcoma or squamous cell the prognosis would be less promising; (2) we had our first consult with the radiology oncologist, Dr. LaRue. She walked me through the radiation plan using their Varian imaging software.

I had previously seen the CT scan but it's difficult to fully appreciate the size of the tumor unless it's rendered in 3-D. I hope to get a pic of it up here soon but I assure you it is massive, occupying the entire left sinus cavity. No one can know for sure how long its been growing in my boy but the damage it has wrought is extensive.

Parts of the septum, the wall between the two spaces, has been eaten away by the cancer and it's spilling into the other side now. All of the bones used for filtering in the left passage have been consumed completely. Thankfully it was detected before it breached the brain barrier and invaded the occipital space.

This monster means business.

No Stephen King or Wes Craven could ever imagine a beast as absolutely sinster as cancer. It takes your own cells and turns them against you. And since the cells still look normal your entire defense system is rendered helpless. It's nature's perfect enemy.

Hell it even fooled me. I was so preoccupied with the tumor in Murphy's neck that turned out benign, the nasal congestion never seemed anything more than a URI. I was looking the other way. While on the walk, I came up with the 5 'L's for early signs of cancer: lumps, lesions, lameness, loss of appetite, and lethargy. There should be a sixth: the opposite of what Luke thinks.

Forgive me for the self-indulgent guilt but unfortunately, it's part of the process of coping. I should have been paying better attention but we are very, very lucky.

Tonight Murphy & I are camping at Horsetooth Reservoir, a basin at the foothills of the Rockies. We're out in god's country where Murphy loves to be with his papi. An evening out here with my boy is all I need.

17 comments:

Dot said...

Well, sure am glad to hear there's a bit of good news. And happy to hear that you and your boy are getting some quality time in - back in a tent. ;-) Blessings to you both - I'm beaming all the positive energy I can summon to Colorado.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Luke, for keeping us updated on Murphy's fight. I am sorry that he will have to endure the radiation. However, I know you will be with him through it all. I hope that he can feel how many people are thinking of him and pulling for him!! He is a special boy and he is in mythoughts constantly these days.
Love, Patty

Merlin Wylt said...

You can't feel guilt about this. My mom caught my predecessor's mouth cancer when it looked like a black pin prick. When they went in to take it out that afternoon it was the size of a quarter under the skin.

Optimistic Cynic said...

Cancer is silent but sinister....by the time you notice symptoms, it has taken hold...take care of each other and best wishes.

Scout 'n Freyja said...

Luke, sometimes all we need is to be with our boy - to be alone and to love.

Barbara C. said...

Two years ago one of our Chi's had 3 weeks of radiation at NEVOG after a liposarcoma was removed and the margins were not good. I hope Murphy has as little discomfort as Mosquito had. Mosquito is wishing all the best for her big furry friend and his daddy. She may actually have barked at him as you probably walked past our house in Westerly, RI.

Anonymous said...

You sure called it Luke, there is NO more frightening or terrifying monster than cancer! Please do not waste even a second of your energy on guilt! You have done so much for the cause of cainine cancer...never forget this foe has too many ways to hide and fool you, it never fights fair! Take a deep breath and hug Murphy and remember how much you are loved! Sending hugs and positive energy,as well as a plea for no more guilt! The sad truth is that even when you do EVERYTHING right, it's not always enough! So think positive and enjoy the peace with your boy Murphy and recharge your strength to fight... please don't let this monster win!

JJ said...

Thoughts and prayers are with you and your buddies. Cherish and enjoy every moment you have together.

Marilyn Sue said...

You are right, Luke. It is a terrifying monster and like a villain in a thriller it is always one step ahead. That is why you were fooled and why we will always be fooled. We can make our lists and do our checks and the cancer will find another way to do its lethal business.

I spoke to a woman yesterday who took her teenage daughter to the doctor and had her hip pain diagnosed as bursitis. After 6 months, it was found to be a sarcoma and the girl had stage 4 lung cancer. She is now cancer free and in recovery after 18 months of hell where she was given a 50/50 chance.

You are lucky that Murphy was diagnosed at all . . .

♥I am Holly♥ said...

Sending lots of love from Virginia to you. Prayers being said here too. Debbie and Holly

Marcia Wilson Magon said...

In Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo's book "Eat Right for Your Type" he talks about women with A blood type who have a family history of breast cancer to consider adding snails to their diet. "The edible snail Helix pomatia contains a powerful lectin that specifically aggultinates and is drawn to mutated Type A cells for two of the most common forms of breast cancer. This is a positive kind of agglutination; this lectin gets rid of sick cells." There must be a lectin that can get rid of every type of cancer. Do dogs have the same blood types as humans? My thoughts are with you Luke as I hasve been through this too often.

Diana said...

Appreciate the update. Glad you are able to spend time with Murph one on one -
So thankful you are in a place where the care is excellent and hope is present.
Guard your health as well. Remember what the stewardess always tells the parent. Place the oxygen mask on yourself before helping your children.
Be well Luke and Murph!

Ace and Kristen said...

In exactly the same boat here and I can certainly appreciate that guilt is part of the process, but move past it and focus your energy on enjoying your boy. Let me know when you get to the anger stage. I'll yell and scream with you!

Anonymous said...

Bonjour,
Votre témoignage m'a beaucoup touché . Moi aussi je suis dans la peine d'avoir perdu mon compagnon le 17/06/10 d'une cardiopathie qu'il avait depuis 2 ans . C'est un vide immense c'est agréable de voir quelqu'un qui ressente la même chose.
Bonne continuation vous pouvez etre fiere.

Anonymous said...

You and your boys have been, and continue to be, an inspiration to so many. My prayers are with you. This will be a special night for you both. God bless.

Cindy
Mechanicsburg, PA

Jim, Rene, Wyatt and Spirit Jerry said...

Horsetooth? Not sure realize just how close that is to us! You're both in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope to meet up with you soon.

Anonymous said...

Luke as any parent would say, they feel guilty, they didn't know sooner or do something sooner, well the fact is you don't have a built-in ct scanner within you, but you do have a great love and devotion to your boy's, please dwell on that and in the meantime we'll be praying for the very best outcome for Murphy. Sending healing hugs and prayers from Ohio, Love Kathy & Giz