Biopsy – Take 2

3/4/13 – I arrived at Hackensack University Medical Center at 5:30 AM. I moved through the registration process very smoothly and I was soon ready for surgery. The basic questions of: “What is your name? What is your birthday? What are you having done today?” were asked over and over, as they should be. Before I knew it I was in the operating room with Dr. Marks. I do recall the anesthesiologist saying something about beginning… The next thing I remember was being in recovery.

Dr. Marks was able to get to the mass, which is located in my right hilum area of my chest, by collapsing my right lung. She was also successful in getting the samples of the mass that Dr. Goy requested. Preliminary evaluation of the mass is that it does appear to be lymphoma. The pathology analysis that will follow will determine what kind it is. Now, I am not a betting man but with this be the same location as one of my past tumors I would think the odds are pretty high that this will be Mantle Cell.
I was moved from recovery to my hospital room. I was a little surprised that it is a private room that was labeled isolation. I guess this goes back to my past treatments from about 4 years ago when I had many infections (E coli, Cellulitis, C diff, VRE, and Microbacterium Fortuitum Complex). Apparently I was never cleared for my VRE. Until this happens I will have to be kept isolated whenever I am in the hospital. I guess when I have a longer stay planned I should try and take care of this. For now I will gladly accept the private space.
3/5/13 – I awoke feeling a little stiff but no pain to speak of. Today’s agenda is to have my chest/drain tube removed, get an x-ray to show my lung is at full capacity and go home. Dr. Marks met with me a and was happy with how I was breathing and that I was managing my pain well. Based on this she removed the Chest Tube. It was a complete nonevent. It didn’t feel a thing. Next on my itinerary was to get my chest x-ray. This also was done fairly quickly but the results showed that the lung was not fully inflated. This meant I had to stay another few hours and have it checked again. When I was x-rayed a few hours later all was good and I was allowed to go home.
I won’t lie to you, I was not surprised that the mass appears to be lymphoma and I certainly won’t be surprised if it is determined to be Mantle Cell. I am feeling very confident that I will once again beat whatever it is. I have great doctors in whom I have enormous trust in (Dr. Goy and Team). I have a great support network of friends, family, 2 fantastic daughters and a wonderful wife. And I do have a strong faith in God.
I received a call from my pastor today. He reminded me of a prayer to say: "Jesus, I believe in you and you will take care of me.
Jesus, I believe in you and you will give me peace
"
These are powerful words when you truly believe in them. These words often carried me through tough times in the past and will do so again.
The next step for me is that I will meet with Dr. Feldman on Monday, March 11th the get the full report. I am pretty sure I will get answers to things like: What type of lymphoma? How aggressive is it? Etc… My guess is that I will also be presented with what my treatment options and I based on past discussion with Dr. Goy I will be given an opportunity to join a new study group. Without reading a word of the study documents I already know that I will join. It is rare that you are given a chance to help yourself and at the same time help others. I, by no means am person who is smart enough to cure cancer but how cool is it that maybe someday I could say, or my daughters could say, or my grandchildren could say… he “helped” cure cancer.
My next update will be Monday, March 11th
And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.  Galatians 6:9
More to come…
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