The medical appointments and the investigation to try and find the primary cancer still continue! I think we are now at around 16 medical appointments since I first went to our family doctor on 3 July! This is scary and overwhelming for someone who rarely went to the doctor before. 🙁
A Visit to Princess Margaret Hospital
I had an appointment at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto last week. It was really worth the trip to talk things over with two medical oncologists there. They confirmed that Sudbury has followed the steps they would have. They also said Sudbury is a very good cancer centre … so this is comforting to know. They have recommended a few additional tests to try and see if they can find the primary source of the cancer (PET scan, core needle biopsy). The doctors in Toronto are also going to review my case as part of their “Tumor Board”… it is a group of doctors and pathologists that look at a patient’s file and suggest a way forward. This was very kind of them to offer to do this.
Both the oncologists in Toronto were so lovely and thanked us for asking questions! We are thankful for lovely people along the way who make this “journey” a little easier.
Sadly, it wasn’t the miracle of a different diagnosis but at least we can feel confident in the care we are receiving in Sudbury.
More Appointments in Sudbury this Week
I have already had four appointments in Sudbury this week. I was able to have a core needle biopsy done on Tuesday which will provide more tissue for pathology testing … and “hopefully” provide some answers as to the primary source of the cancer.
The oncologists have decided to do some radiation on my neck to try and manage the swelling there and help to reduce the pain associated with the swelling. This will also “buy” some time as they carry out further testing.
I had a radiation planning session this week which included having a mask made for each of the treatments. It was quite the experience having it molded to the shape of my face … thankfully I don’t get too claustrophobic! They use the mask for all patients who are receiving radiation treatments to the head and neck. It ensures the patient is kept still during the treatment.
I will likely start the radiation in the next couple of days, God willing. I will have 10 treatments, delivered consecutively over 10 week days. The treatment only takes about 15 minutes (plus preparation time), but they all need to be done in Sudbury. Lots of travelling back and forth! We might stay overnight for a few of the treatments.
We had some extra people visiting for the long weekend and it was also the weekend to close up the Bible Camp. Dan and the boys spent most of Saturday and Sunday afternoon helping at camp. I popped in for a bit but wasn’t really too useful this year!
We had two birthday celebrations and an “Aussie” Father’s Day dinner on Sunday night with both sets of parents and Peter and Karly Styles and family.
We spent the Labour Day holiday at Gore Bay with family. It turned out to be a beautiful day, despite being a bit rainy in the morning. The boys even thought it was hot enough still to go in the splash pad!
We pray God will continue to guide the doctors who are working with me. We pray for God to provide healing, direction and peace – truly all things are possible with the Almighty.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (ESV)