Dr. Z called this afternoon to tell me the doctors at Tumor Board decided unanimously for treatment here in town! He said he also spoke with some of the doctors he worked with in Boston and they also agreed that with complete surgical excision of the three spots, there was no reason for me to have to travel for treatment. Definitely this has been the best news so far. I finally feel like we have a treatment plan in place.
I also met with the ENT surgeon (yes, this is the same surgeon I had initially thought I would not use)… my opinion has since changed based largely on the fact that ALL of the other doctors I have spoken with have sung the praises of Doctor ENT. He explained much of how he plans to proceed…where the incisions will be, how large they will be, and what he expects the process to look like. His confidence in the successful resection of all sites made me feel far more comfortable than I did last time. He did say that he would operate on both my head and face in the same surgery. In fact, all three sites will be taken care of in the same surgery.
In the meantime, I’m going to head back to California for a week or so. While I’m there, I will probably take advantage of the consultation at the John Wayne Cancer Center in Santa Monica. I’d be a fool not to use this resource and I’d probably regret not getting the second opinion there.
Tomorrow should be the day we are able to get everything scheduled. The first surgery will be excision of all sites with my head and face incisions being left open to allow for pathology results. (Melanomas don’t respond to the common MOHS procedure that would allow for instantaneous margin results…it takes a couple of days for the results with melanoma). After 3-4 days we should know whether more tissue needs or be removed or if Dr. ENT will be able to close the sites. 4 weeks after the closure of the incisions the 30 day IV Interferon injections will start. Following that I will then be instructed on giving myself injections and will do that MWF for the subsequent 48 weeks.
So this is great news! Surgery and chemo fun in the comfort of my own environment… I’ll update again as soon as the schedule is set !!!