It isn’t good news.
Mathew had his CT scans this morning. Once we returned home I called the doctor’s office and left a message that he had just finished his scans.
Dr. Hemmings called me shortly after lunch and asked if she could stop in and discuss the preliminary findings with John and I. About half an hour later she showed up at the door and we got the “first glance” news. This means she went over the scans with the Radiologist for a preview. The scans haven’t been measured against previous scans or detailed for a report.
The basic report is Mathew’s cancer has spread. It is in his brain, throughout the lymph nodes in his abdomen and in his liver. There may be something at the original tumour site as well. The tumours in his lungs grew and there is a small amount of liquid in the bottom left of his lung.
The tumour in his head, Dr. Hemmings thinks, is in the right lobe. She is not trained in scans and was looking at them backwards as they are presented on the screen. It is in the dura (underneath the skull there is a lining over the brain; that is the dura…simplified). It appears to have bone/skull involvement as well. The doctor thinks the “cyst” behind Mathew’s ear is the lymph node, which is located there, affected. There is a little bit of swelling at the tumour site in Mathew’s head but hasn’t affected the brain at all. Meaning that nothing looks pushed aside or squished. There are 2 other lesions on his brain but at first glance they aren’t sure if they are benign or cancerous (ha ha ha ho ho ho ~ benign… as IF).
For some reason there was no scan done from under Mathew’s chin to the level of his lungs. That means no one knows if something is affecting Mathew’s right arm. I guess we’ll take it on faith there is something…why the hell not?
The doctors did not see anything compromising Mathew’s spine. If there is something affecting his right leg then we’ll have to wait for the report. As I pointed out, at this stage if Mathew has pain then no one is going to tell any of us it is imagined. It just means the medical community hasn’t figured out where it is coming from yet.
Mathew is weaker than we realized. He made it to the truck and to the hospital. He got through the appointment okay and then John retrieved the truck and met us at the hospital entrance. We were both helping Mathew from the wheelchair to the truck and as soon as he tried to lift his right leg he collapsed. John and I grabbed him as he sank so he did not land on the ground. Trying to get a firm grip without hurting him was impossible as a couple of people rushed to help. John and I had to grab Mathew any way we could to hoist him into the truck.
The truck isn’t jacked up on wheels; in fact it is a smaller truck but a full cab. It is the Honda Ridgeline.
The next problem occurred when we got home. John pulled the truck up to the garage entrance and each of us took one of Mathew’s arms and put them around our shoulders. He managed the first, small step from the garage to the house. The second and final one… he collapsed again. He insisted we let him rest on the hallway and he could get himself up.
We picked him up and took him to bed.
Mathew slept maybe an hour last night due to pain in the right leg and stress over today’s CT scan. It was the first time he left the house in over two months. He was so upset about collapsing (sinking) and realizing how little strength he has. He asked if I was going to tell people and I replied damn right I was! His safety is our first priority and the more people around him who know the more help they can be. He thought about that for a minute and then declared, “Yeah! Tell people they can’t come over unless they are willing to help me!”.
Mathew will NOT be told these results. There is no need for him to stress and worry over issues he has no control over. He trusts us enough to let us share what needs to be shared. As always I ask that you respect these wishes of ours. Mathew will just be told that the cancer affected his muscle here and there ~ which he already knows ~ and the doctor will adjust his pain meds to accommodate the information.
The Radiation Oncologist is reviewing his scans but there will not be any radiation. Mathew would have to be admitted to the hospital for the duration of treatment, which he already refused. As radiation would not extend his life then he doesn’t need to spend any of his precious time in a hospital if it can be avoided at all.
Sometimes if the lungs fill with liquid then a procedure is done to drain the fluid. The amount in Mathew’s left lung isn’t an amount to be considered and when, or if, that time arises then his whole health picture will be assessed before subjecting him to anything else.
That is all for now