Tuesday, June 06, 2006

June 6

When I got to Duke I had to get a PET scan first. This is more intense than a CT scan and can also show if the cancer had spread. I had to be injected with some “radioactive stuff”, then sit there and wait for it to go through my body. After awhile, I had the scan done. After the PET scan was delivered, I meet with Dr. Thomas D’Amico first, who is a brilliant thoracic surgeon and Scott Balderson who is the PA. Both these physicians took time out of their busy day to answer any question Christi and I had or could think of. They showed us why they are the best, we didn’t leave that room until we felt like we could, and that was hours later, Scott stayed with us the entire time and made sure we need and felt they hope they wanted to provide. They explained to me that they had reviewed the PET scan and had determined that surgery was not an option. They explained it very well and honestly, it was not good news. I was really hoping to have the cancer taken out, and then do some chemo. After meeting with those guys, I met with Susan Blackwell, who is a PA for Dr. Jeff Crawford. Dr. Crawford is a brilliant guy who is taking care of my treatment. He is the head of oncology at Duke, and I have seen him quoted in several articles and journals. We met with Susan and then Dr. Crawford to go over options. Basically, the options were to go on standard treatment or to try a clinical trial. Dr. Crawford suggested that I go with a clinical trial. The one he wanted me to do had two groups that were randomized. Group A had the drug Tarceva only, and Group B got the Tarceva as well as standard chemo (Carboplantin and Taxol) drugs. The hard decision would be whether to take everything, or be ok with being able to be randomized.
That night I also had a brian MRI to confirm that cancer hadn’t spread there. This test did confirm that my brain is fine, except the obvious.