Our oncologist told us today that Paul will not be having radiation, just chemotherapy. He said that they discussed Paul's case with the tumor board, and they feel with his type of cancer that radiation would not be beneficial. He told us the plan is to do three rounds of ECF (epirubicin, cisplatin and fluorouracil 5FU). He will need to go for chemo every 21 days. He indicated that this is a "tough" regime and that we may only make it through a couple of rounds...I guess the side effects can be brutal.
The doctor told us that the CT scan we had done yesterday (yep, we were down at Huntsman yesterday too) looked good. There was no evidence of cancer at the moment. He also said the tumor board felt like Paul was at a low risk for having peritoneal seeding because all of his lymph nodes (31) were cancer free. That was encouraging news.
Anyway, Paul will be going to Huntsman next week to have an echocardiogram to make sure his heart is up to the chemo. He will also be getting his port put in for the chemotherapy and blood draws. The port needs to be in place for at least a week and then the chemotherapy starts.
We are feeling a bit apprehensive about the chemo...not looking forward to it...hoping that all will go well. There are times I wonder if he should do it...but then he reminds me that he wants to do all he can to ensure that the cancer is gone. Especially since this particular kind of cancer has a very high recurrence rate.
Paul made me promise him that I won't shave my head to make him feel better if he loses his hair. I told him that would be an easy promise for me to keep!
We also met with a nutritionist and a genetic counselor at Huntsman today. The nutritionist gave me a few more helpful hints...trying to get more calories in Paul, without all the fat...I can't believe how hard it is to get healthy high calorie foods in him. Most high calorie foods are loaded in saturated fats! The last thing I want to do is clog my poor husbands heart!
We have discovered (thanks to cousin Pat) that there is a huge amount of cancer on Paul's dads side of the family. Basically, all of Paul's great aunts had breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer. In addition, there is some pancreatic cancer and breast cancer in 1st cousins as well. Anyway, long story short...there is a genetic mutation that can cause certain types of cancer. If you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation you may be at higher risk for breast, ovarian, stomach, pancreatic, and a couple other cancers. The counselors told us that Paul's insurance will not cover the test for us because he is male and has never had breast cancer. We don't exactly have $3,500 sitting around to cover the cost. We are going to talk to our family members about some other things they suggested. Bottom line, it would be nice to know if Paul is a carrier for our children's sake. We will see what develops with this.