Cancer Update (Jan 16): Surgery Needed

Hoar frost

I had a CAT scan and PET scan done on Tuesday and Connie and I met with my oncologist on Thursday. The tests showed no aggressive lymphoma anymore, which is really good news! But since there is still a fairly large mass of dead cells in my spleen (which may or may not include a less aggressive form of cancer), I'm going to have my spleen surgically removed in the next few weeks. If the biopsy of the spleen shows no cancer, I'll simply need to be tested every six months for the next few years. If the biopsy shows active cancer cells, I'll undergo a stem cell transplant next month, which is where they take bone marrow out of me, freeze it, give me a few days of high dose chemotherapy (more powerful than what I've already had), and then put the bone marrow back in me. This is apparently curative in 60-70% of cases like mine. But, again, I may not need this if the biopsy of the spleen doesn't show any live cancer.

Connie and I see this as the best scenario we could have reasonably hoped for. I will, of course, miss my spleen, but I'm told that many have lived decades without one.

The good news is that it seems increasingly likely that I'll be alive and productive throughout this year and, with any luck, a whole lot longer.

Trusting time and grateful the gifts of life and death...

~ Michael

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