First floor, Radiation Oncology.
Yesterday was Ford's consultation with the Radiation Oncologist at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital. The check-in was essentially the same as on the second floor (minus the blood draw for labs). We first met with Dr. Mike Montejo who is in his last two weeks of Residency at HCH. At the end of June he will leave for Florida to be a "real" doctor off on his own. Dr. Montejo had a medical student "following" him. It adds another dimension of enlightenment with residents and followers because they spend extra time explaining the what's, how's and why's of what is going on with a patient, the diagnosis, the exam, and the procedures.
Dr. Montejo was very thorough in going through Ford's history of diagnosis and treatment. Through this process, he told us that the activity in the stomach was not only in-between two lymph nodes, it had now infiltrated the lymph nodes. New insight. He also told us that the bone marrow biopsy that had originally been done to diagnose/stage the lymphomas showed that it was the marginal cell lymphoma (MALT) in his bone marrow, not the aggressive, intermediate lymphoma (diffuse large B cell lymphoma). This is a bit confusing on so many levels, but we did not delve into any questions or explanations at this point. The rest of the time was taken up with explanations about radiation therapy and his examination of Ford.
Next, we met with Dr. David Gaffney, the radiation oncologist. He was very good at making connections with Ford. He is a biker and was interested in the recumbent bike aspect. He has had an ACL repair. He also explained that he was a lymphoma cancer survivor of 30 years. He also reviewed Ford's history, did an exam, took time to answer our questions, and then said to us that he would like Ford to allow him to treat him. That was interesting.
Dr. Gaffney then asked if we knew that Ford had an afternoon appointment already set up for what they call "planning." Although we had not been aware that we to be there all day, Ford called in to work and let them know what was going on, we also called family and let them know we would be longer than we thought.
We were sent off to lunch at which time Ford and I discussed the situation. Ford feels that this is what he needs to do and has made the decision to proceed with the radiation treatment.
Ford made it to "planning." This is where everything is set into motion. A CT scan was taken and the results will be "fused" with the PET scan results for a detail on the area that is to be treated. Measurements were made, Ford received "tatoos" that will pinpoint treatment areas, and all is entered into computers in order to specify and specialize treatment.
His next appointment is Wednesday, 29 June 2011, at which time he will go through a simulation. To our understanding, all will proceed as if he were having a radiation treatment, except that there will not be any radiation. This allows everything to be checked over and tested to assure that all systems and settings are correct. Then the next day, Thursday, 30 June 2011, will be his first treatment. His protocol is 15 treatments, one every day, skipping weekends and holidays. By my calculations, the last treatment will be Thursday, 21 July 2011.
We will appreciate all prayers offered in our behalf, for Ford's treatment, protection of healthy cells, and recovery, as well as for protection as we make the two-hour round trip for those days to follow.