Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Finding Clean Air

In auto racing events, drivers talk about finding clean air - when they get out from behind other cars and have freedom to go faster. That's how we felt once we had the pathology results and a confirmed diagnosis. Sure, it would have been great if it somehow turned out to be benign, but there wasn't much chance of that and we weren't banking on it. Now that a malignancy is confirmed, it's time to consult with oncologists and figure out the treatment plan.

Doctor B's office set up a referral to a papilloma specialist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. That's scheduled for June 17 - three weeks away.

I also self-referred myself to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dana Farber was one of the first cancer treatment centers in the United States and is half named for Sidney Farber, the father of modern chemotherapy. It is affiliated with Harvard Medical School. I often attend cancer biology seminars at Dana Farber.

I researched the members of Dana Farber's Head and Neck Center online and identified a couple that looked right from their profiles. When I called to make an appointment, however, I learned that that's not how it works. You work through a Patient Coordinator and give information about your diagnosis. Then they select a team and you meet with the entire team on your first consultation. They scheduled that consultation for June 4 (a week away), with a medical oncologist (a chemotherapy specialist), a radiation oncologist (radiation therapy specialist) and an ENT/head & neck surgeon.

That's our next milestone.

Wonderful Wife and I feel like our feet have come unstuck from the clay and we can move forward. We feel ligher.

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