Three months had passed since we were last in Houston. Three months of trying to not worry and remain hopeful. During this time we tried very hard to stay busy and enjoy our time together. After all, we knew time was precious.
I talked Scott into driving out to Houston for his follow-up scan, which was like pulling teeth, but just in case he had to stay for radiation it was important for him to have a car there. We decided to make a trip out of it, a vacation we so desperately needed, so we stopped in New Orleans – about halfway to Houston (conveniently). This was both of our first times and I can 100% say the best part about New Orleans is the food! It was delicious. From the Beignets to the French restaurants our stomachs were pleasantly plump the entire trip. We only stayed for one full day so we quickly explored and were on our way.
About 6 hours later we entered Houston, picked up my mother from the airport and settled in for what was about to be a wild ride.
Morning came and Scott was immediately sent to get blood work done and to get his PET scan. After the scan, we grabbed some lunch and walked what seemed like a mile long sky bridge to the main building to meet with his oncologist and get the results. Even thinking back on this day gives me anxiety. The oncologist gave us the news we weren’t hoping for – the tumor was growing. The cancer wasn’t gone. Instant heartbreak.
I think in these situations you try not to get your hopes up, so you won’t be too disappointed when you get results like this, but it just doesn’t happen. You want to think the best possible scenario is going to occur. We were for sure going home, because Scott was fine – or so we thought.
The oncologist had us go meet with a surgeon just in case he wanted Scott to get the tumor biopsied… again. This is how smoothly MD Anderson operates. They don’t waste time. While Scott’s oncologist met with a board of doctors to discuss his case, he had Scott taking what could have been necessary steps to insure quick action. Luckily – Scott did not have to get biopsied again – Praise the Lord! I’m not sure I would have survived in the waiting room again.
After meeting with other doctors, Scott’s oncologist recommended intense, specialized radiation on his chest. What was confusing was that prior to this news Scott’s schedule from MD Anderson had him at appointments with the Radiologist and the Stem Cell doctor, so we went to both.
First stop: Radiology.
This time we met with a seasoned veteran, who explained literally everything to us. She even pulled up the scans to show us and explain what she saw and how the radiation would work. (The previous radiologist we met with was on vacation, so we got lucky, but I’m sure Scott would have been in good hands either way.)
Next stop: Stem Cell Therapy.
This doctor was an older gentleman that did not seem very happy that we were recommended radiation over stem cell therapy. He told us we could do radiation, but the cancer will just return, so he recommends stem cell therapy.
WHAT?! Is this a joke? We already have a plan in place. We only came to see you because it was on the schedule and to get your opinion, but we didn’t think you were going to be such a pessimist. Anxiety – level 10.
We rushed backed to Lymphoma center to see Scott’s oncologist to work all of this news out. We were waiting in the room to meet with him and you could literally hear him on the phone with the Stem Cell doctor speaking passionately about what the best treatment for Scott would be. I must admit, this was awesome! They really cared. No they might not have agreed, but they cared and sometimes that’s all people need to know. Finally the oncologist hangs up the phones, trots his Italian leather shoes down the hallway and enters our room. He begins to explain how he and other doctors all believe that radiation is the best option. We all let out a deep breath and relaxed knowing the plan was back on track.
Scott was moving to Houston for 28 days of radiation on his chest.