I am feeling so much better today than yesterday. The main reason for this is that I received some fantastic news from my friend, Brian who was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma over a year ago. His tumor was the size of a volleyball and he was initially told to “get his affairs in order”. Brian had one surgery with FIVE surgeons. There was still a lot of cancer showing on a subsequent scan. He went for a second opinion and ended up changing medical teams to the University of Washington. Brian did a course of radiation and then another surgery last September, again requiring a team of five surgeons. The margins were not totally clear. He had a follow up of targeted radiation.

This is what I read on Brian’s blog yesterday:

I’m happy to have great news to share. I got a CT scan of my chest and an MRI of my pelvis this week and the results were great. The CT scan is to check for new cancer bits spreading into my lungs, the MRI is to check the surgery site where lingering cancer cells they did not remove in the surgery or kill with the radiation could grow into new tumors. The scans showed that both areas are free and clear. There was nothing of concern, no visible cancer, nothing to worry about. That’s as good as it gets.

Needless to say I was having some fairly uncomfortable times leading up to this since if it had gone differently that would have been very bad news. Its unsettling to have so much up in the air. I’ve been realizing the last couple days how stressful that was, since in particular the day after the tests I was really wiped out tired.

The plan now is to continue to do scans every 3 months, perhaps for 3 more times, then go to every 6 months. Particularly with the type of cancer I have it’s hard to ever know the whole story for sure. There is a chance it could still come back. But the fact that this round of tests came up totally negative is huge. And a massive relief.

I’m still working on surgery recovery. I think the real story is that 6 weeks of radiation does a lot of damage and apparently continues to do damage for up to a year. That seems to explain why I’m still having to work hard at rehab, still have some weakness and soreness, still feel the surgery site all the time. But it’s not too bad, I’ve been skiing and pretty much doing what I want so I’m fortunate. The fact that one of my doctors asked me if I’ve been using narcotics for the pain seems to indicate that for a lot of people the recovery process is far longer and harder- I haven’t had ‘pain’ from the surgery requiring anything for many months.

So, despite the incredibly dire prognoses given to me and unfortunately my mom and others around the time of the first surgery, I appear to be on the road to cured and am healthy now and doing fantastic!

We chatted on the phone yesterday. What a relief for anyone but especially a single dad of an 11 year-old boy! I am just thrilled!