Today was a mixed emotion day. Brandon did sleep better last night, so he wasn’t as exhausted as he was yesterday. He felt pretty good most of the day, although he did have a headache (perhaps a side effect of the pain medication). He rarely gets headaches, so that was an annoyance. We had a pretty good day together, and he was “Brandon” again. The kidney function numbers are still going in the wrong direction, which is disappointing. The doctors seem confident that this will turn around soon. He’s not having any other symptoms of kidney damage, so that’s a good sign. The surgical team said he’s progressing great, and they would consider him a candidate for release soon if not for the kidney issues. So we’re still in a holding pattern.
We got the pathology results this afternoon. We were hoping for better news, but it could have been worse. We learned that his mesothelioma is mid-grade. We were hoping for low-grade, of course, but at least it isn’t the most aggressive high-grade type. His surgeon said we will need to follow up with a medical oncologist once he’s fully recovered from the surgery to determine the next steps, which will most likely be systemic chemo and/or a clinical trial. He did say that mesothelioma isn’t graded like other cancers. They look at two factors – the amount of disease they find in the abdomen and whether or not the surgery is successful in removing all of the disease. His amount of disease was medium, and his surgeon was confident he removed all disease. Right now, we feel the disease is gone. We just have to fight from this point on to keep it from returning. His surgeon, Dr. Al, promised to refer us to the best medical oncologist, one with experience in treating this type of cancer, for Brandon’s care going forward. Once again, we’re prepared to fight with all we have. Although this type of cancer has a probability of returning, we know he has the power of your thoughts and prayers lifting him above this disease. And with new medical advancements/treatments coming along every day, we are optimistic!