Follow me to learn more about life before, during and Beyond a cancer diagnosis

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's Up Today

Well the day is pretty much shot now, so I probably will not get much done outside today.
I just got home a short time ago from the orthopedic doctor that I have to see because of radiation treatment effects to my neck. Really not as bad as it could have been from the way docs were talking, just a few bulging discs. I have to start physical therapy next week, for 4 weeks, and then another MRI to check and see where I'm at.
I have a choice of finding a facility closer to home to do the therapy, so I will probably be looking in Lagrange, that will be so much better than the almost 2 hour daily drive we have been making to Atlanta for treatments.
I will say this though; the doctors, the care I received at Winship Cancer Center, and the results that we achieved as a team were priceless, and worth every single mile we traveled. The Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University is Georgia's first and only cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). I would recommend everyone do your research, and get a second opinion.
When I was first diagnosed with cancer, by the local ENT, and still trying to absorb the information that I had cancer, I did not like the idea that without even an oncologists opinion my primary Dr. and the ENT had set me up for radiation treatments, and decided that would be all I would need.
After speaking with a number of facilities, such as Cancer Treatment Centers of America, we chose Winship.
Further exploratory surgery and additional scans by the oncologist at Emory Winship University revealed the cancer to actually be stage IV B, Not the stage 2 initially diagnosed.
The tumor had a tail that traveled down and around my windpipe, and crossed into various layers of tissue and muscle, as well as lymph nodes in my neck. This was why I had to do chemo and radiation at the same time.
But here I am alive and kicking so stage IV is NOT a death sentence. The photo to the left is a PET scan image of my throat, (The two things on the sides are my armpits) the glowing orange area was the cancer.

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