Wednesday, April 11, 2012
How we got to where we are now, Houston.
Okay, so the rest of the week we just finished Masters and had family discussions about treatment. All of our doctors have said if we have the means to go to MD Anderson, we should. It is the greatest cancer facility in the world. They have cutting edge medicine that is not practiced anywhere else in the world. They all said if it was them, their child, or their spouse they would be at MD Anderson. We were worried about money of course but we need the best. If Dusty were an old man and had lived a full life we would stay at home and fight at a local hospital and be satisfied. But he is not. He is young with a wife that CAN'T live without him and two boys that need him as much as they need food or water. He has to beat this. I'm not giving him the option. Dr. Thaggard in San Antonio made some calls and got us in to see a gastro oncologist. He is world renown and in the top ten doctors in the world (not nation, WORLD) for gastro oncology. We met with him Monday morning in Houston and he said he wanted us to be treated here (Houston). I asked if our doctor back home could follow his guidelines and we do the surgery (I'll get to that in a minute) in Houston. He said, "No, no one in the country will give the amount of chemo and radiation that I will." That scared the breath out of me. give that amount? what amount is that? Does this mean he is going to pump him full of the highest amounts and make him glow? But through talking it out we learned that no other facility can handle the recovery and support of a patient like MD Anderson. Then, the doctor said, "MY CURE RATE IS DOUBLE WHAT ANY OTHER DOCTOR'S IS. THERE IS ONE THAT IS CATCHING UP BUT MINE IS DOUBLE EVERYONE ELSES." Done, sold, sign me up. Here is my life, here is Dusty's life, tell us what you want. At that moment we knew, we are moving to Houston. Yes, we have kids back home (Augusta) but this is where they need us to be. I am blessed with the best family and friends that have all stepped up to the plate and are helping out with the kids. The kids are going to have a hard time with this and it is going to be rough but how rough will it be if we loose their daddy? It is only 6 weeks. We will do 6 weeks of intense chemo (weekly) and radiation (daily), then 6 weeks home to regain strength, then back to Houston for "the" surgery. The surgery will be intense. He will have an esophagectomy with stomach lift. Basically meaning, they will remove the bottom portion (where the tumor is) of his esophagus and the upper portion of his stomach and pull his stomach up into his chest cavity and reconnect the two. He will be in the ICU for three days, hospital for two weeks and recovery time will be 3-6 months. He will be on a feeding tube and he will lose a lot of weight. The doctor said he will be lucky to only lose 30 lbs. It will be hard. The radiation will burn his esophagus and he will be in a lot of pain swallowing. He will need to drink protein shakes and be on a liquid diet. It will be very hard.