Deanna and I went down to the Moore's cancer center this morning and spoke with Dr. Loren Mell regarding the specifics of his proposal for radiation therapy. He is the Director of the radiation oncology department for UCSD medical center.
What we learned was that there actually are some "choices" to ponder when deciding exactly the extent and types of treatment to consider. Factored into the choices were my desire to keep my voice to the extent possible, and what Dr. Mell considered as the best case scenario for a complete recovery and cancer free future. I could get a smaller dose of radiation and have a better chance of saving my voice, but an increased chance of not getting all of the cancer. Also, I could forego chemo treatments and just receive radiation with the same chance of the cancer coming back.
Best case long range scenario (and the prognosis is very good) is go with the combination of suggested chemo/radio therapy for 6 weeks daily - with weekends off. It is possible, maybe even likely, that this treatment could effect my voice quality. Not necessarily "for sure", but the odds lean toward the probability. It is also likely that the cancer would be completely eradicated.
My next step will be to visit radiology again for a PET scan, then to UCSD chemotherapy oncologist,
Dr. Tony Reid http://health.ucsd.edu/UCSD_MD/Results?pict_id=2260492Dr. Tony Reid. He will decide the specific drug and dose for the chemo.
It appears that my first radio/chemo treament will be about 3 weeks from today. So I'm hoping to eat good while I can still swallow...Keep prayin'!