The good news is the Angels beat the Orioles yesterday 6-5. With few exceptions, yesterday was somewhat lacking in the “good news” department. I’m just going to lay it all out there…
The scans from last week indicated some additional areas of concern. First, a spot inside my chest wall that appears to be another melanoma site. Secondly, the scan also revealed a suspicious spot on my liver.
The spot in my chest appears to be just external to the intercostal muscles and the subcutaneous fat. While I would, of course, prefer this wasn’t there at all, this isn’t the worst location in my chest cavity. Being external to the intercostal muscles means that it’s not inside my lungs which would present numerous additional challenges. They are not 100% sure if this is another melanoma site. Whether or not it is determined to be another melanoma will play a huge part in treatment plans. A biopsy of the area will be done on Tuesday. The liver lesion most likely is not an area of concern. The doc has ordered an additional CT scan scheduled for Tuesday to be sure. The results from both tests should be available next Friday which is when I meet with Dr. Z again.
How this plays out: PLAN A vs. PLAN B.
This is the best case scenario. If the chest biopsy comes back negative the next move will be to schedule removal of the rest of the tumor in my scalp and to remove the spot on my face. This will most likely be done in two different surgeries within the next couple of weeks. Following that will be 12 months of daily chemotherapy injections. Right now my understanding of the way this would works would be an initial 30 day regimen of I.V. treatments followed by intramuscular shots for the remainder. He didn’t paint a fabulous picture of how people respond to this treatment, but EVERYONE responds differently. This is definitely do-able from St. Lukes.
If the biopsy results come back positive, because of the physical distance between the lesions the diagnosis will then be considered metastatic and the treatment plan is altered dramatically. At that point a referral would be made to a “major medical facility” in a larger city. Part of the treatment would require inpatient care and definitely isn’t my choice for how I’d like to spend the next year.
I flew back to California with Mom yesterday afternoon. I’ll be here for the weekend, returning home and bringing my youngest sister with me on Monday.
Dad, Mom, and I sat down for a couple of hours last night making sure we all have similar understandings. This has probably been the toughest part for me. I’m having a hard time looking either of them in the eyes because they both seem so full of fear. I’m really not fearful. I’ve been saying for the last few weeks that I’ve had a huge sense of “God’s got this”. I can’t change much of the situation so I’ve really got the easy part, I just have to keep moving through it. The feelings I’m fighting right now are mostly feelings of anger. Anger at the possibility that I may not be able to follow through with what I’ve started this year. I’ve spent 10 years hoping to move back to the area and I’m starting to get really frustrated with the idea of not being able to finish school. Obviously, I don’t know what next week will bring, but this is the first time I’ve had feelings I couldn’t immediately work through.
I’ll spend the rest of this weekend hanging out in Orange County. Lots of time with both of my grandmothers (it was awesome to walk into Nana’s room yesterday and say “Hi Nana” and have her respond with, “Heather?”. Having her recognize my voice without hesitating was pretty cool). I’ll head over to see Grandma later today. I’ll probably spend some time at the batting cages and mostly likely will head to the beach for a little while.
Oh yeah, and Angel games are televised here. I’m DEFINITELY taking advantage of that!