Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good news and bad news...

Today we met with Dr. Sharma, Nick's surgeon. Nick will need to undergo a "partial maxillectomy" as it appears there is a tumor measuring approx 1/2" in the original tumor site and there is bone erosion up and above his last molar. A PET scan isn't going to be done because the suspicious tumor is too small - the results would be inconclusive. We can't do a biopsy because of where it is located. They can't confirm that it is cancerous but all the signs indicate it is.

It will be a 4 hour surgery; Dr. Sharma will make an incision along the line of his nose down to his lip. He will remove 5 teeth (beginning with his eye tooth), 40% of the roof of his mouth, his upper jaw bone and cheek bone. He will also remove some of the inside if his cheek and replace it with skin grafted from his thigh. He will be in the hospital for 3-4 days and will need to be on a feeding tube for a week. The dental specialist will insert a prosthetic that will work just like having dentures (we meet with him on Monday)

Because of the extensive complications, Nick has decided to wait until Jan 3rd to do the surgery. Both his oncologist and surgeon said there is no problem at all in waiting (his counts don't even come up until Dec 10th). Now he has a whole month to get his body strong for the surgery, put on some more weight and get hairy!

The good news? There is absolutely NO indication of the cancer ANYWHERE else, other than the original tumor site and his eye is completely safe.

The fight is long and we have many more treatment choices depending upon the pathology report done on the bone and tissue they will remove. One fight at a time, however, and until Jan 3rd, we are going to enjoy life and the spirit of Christmas.

With gratitude,



Obsessedwithlife said...

Hi, I've been following your blog for a few weeks now. As you know, I'm a 3-time sarcoma survivor too. I just thought of something that may or may not be of interest to you and your family- a man who had a sarcoma in his face, Terry Healey. Maybe you've already heard of him? I have his book and read part of it, "At Face Value". It's quite good. Anyways, your story reminded me of his.

GOOD LUCK with everything.

Many prayers!!!


Jennie said...

Hiya Nick - ****!! Pretty neat you saw a bald eagle - they are strong and powerful, just like you! Liked the comment on seeing a bald eagle every day - cheeky!! Well, you've hit a pretty good speed bump in the road with this latest news. Doesn't mean you've stopped, just had to slow down a bit. Get rid of the nasty tumor and move on. AND... if you think you can "goof off" - think again - we've got work for you to do when you're feeling up to it!! Yep - cancer sucks. Sening you love, light and healing and screw the cancer!! With love Jennie

Chris Ulvin said...

Dear Nick,
Merry merry Christmas - enjoy your family, your friends, the beautiful state you live in, and this month of hope and love.
Hugs and prayers, aunt Chris

Terry said...

Hi Nick,
Keep up your great attitude. I survived an incredibly similar fibrosarcoma that impacted the same areas as yours plus 1/2 my nose (removed and somewhat rebuilt). That was 22 years ago (at age 20). You'll get thru this and I know you'll end up being grateful for the experience (like me). Happy to share my survival kit and what worked for me. Feel free to visit my site - and/or call me/email me to talk live - Your attitude rocks! Stay strong.