The bump is the “C”-word: cancer.
The last month has been a flurry of appointments, research, tests, procedures, lost sleep, etc.
Here’s where we’ve landed:
After consulting with local oncologists (chemo and radiation), and one of UCLA’s top oncologists (thank you, A.B. ❤️), David has decided to receive his cancer treatment locally, here in Oroville.
Surgery is not recommended by anyone, and the treatment regime for David’s type of cancer, one of concurrent chemo and radiation, is standard and has been around for decades.
The most onerous part of this treatment is 30+ days of radiation, 5-days a week for many weeks (the holidays will cause this to run into the new year). The chemo happens at the beginning and end and will be delivered by a pump attached to David’s intravenous port (which he gets next Friday).
From what we’ve been told and our own research, cure rates are between 66% and 90%. David is stage IIIA, a little more advanced than we first understood, but the specialists have a lot of confidence in this standard treatment.
We do feel that our local, primary care physician totally missed this … in hindsight, we should have been on the treatment path months ago. We should have been more aggressive given the symptoms. But we can’t do anything about that now (except look for a different, primary care provider and also more actively seek screening for things we might be at risk for). Had this been caught earlier, the treatment would have been the same but the chances would have been even higher and David wouldn’t have had the summer of discomfort that he’s had.
Over the years, we have periodically talked about what our response to cancer would be, given that chemo and radiation do exact costs on long-term health and quality of life. In this case, David is seeking local treatment because we both believe it’s a reasonable choice for him. We believe that because
a) the cancer is not stage IV,
b) the cancer has a known, time-tested, effective protocol for its current stage,
c) David’s in otherwise excellent health,
d) it is important to have the comfort of being at home in our happy place during treatment and
e) our local hospital, though small, currently has the specialists and equipment the treatment requires.
We will meet the team doing David’s radiation setup and daily treatment on Monday. Hopefully that experience will continue to encourage him and me on this path. If so, the treatment will begin on Monday, Nov. 13, one month after we got the initial news.