Hospital Stay Day 10-update

DustyMark's Journey, Uncategorized

Waiting is the hardest part-when you already know its bad.

I can tell the back story later but Mark did ask me to write an update so you can all know.

The first biopsy on the “mass” in his abdomen came back inconclusive and so since it was obviously affecting his kidney they took the next biopsy from his kidney. The kidney biopsy was not going to be “read” in house but in Arkansas, where they send their kidney biopsies. This also meant it needed to get there fast to be read quickly and it did not make the deadline. That was Friday. We waited through the weekend and then were able to get preliminary results yesterday. Those results basically told the doctors is was NOT the lymphoma they were sure it was but that it was indeed cancer of some sort. Probably of the kidney, as that was where it is currently residing.

Forgive my non-medical terms as I type this. I either can’t find the right words in my brain or it just makes sense to say it the way I’m saying it. (oh my gosh there is a fly buzzing in my room and my dog wont stop itching and licking himself…I’m goign to lose my mind)

The nephrologist met with us and really just repeated what we already heard..and then about 7pm an oncologist finally made their way to the room. Not to give us results, but to explain things to us. The biopsy or cultures are now being genetically tested in a few labs around the states to come up with what EXACTLY it is. You see, they do not generically treat cancer. They treat it according to its genetic makeup. So until we know what that is…we wait. 5-7 days. And if it comes back inconclusive…we do it again.

So the oncologist…explained that a 1/2″ tumor can contain 1 BILLION cancer cells in it…Mark’s might be around 1.5-2″. That’s alot of cancer cells. He used dandelions and seeds etc as his example and if you have been through a similar journey…just bear with me.

So basically, just because you have a tumor doesn’t mean they go in and take it out. Like a dandelion, it can spread it’s “seeds” anywhere and you want to make sure you get those, all of those, so that one little “seed” doesn’t come back later to haunt you. This can be the most dangerous cancer…the one “seed” that got away. (this is called systemic-moving throughout the body). You can also have secondary cancer that metasasizes (i think that is spelled wrong. siri was no help and I’m too tired to check) in another part of your body but really is of the original tissue (in this case, kidney). So what they like to do is clean the whole body like a pool with chlorine in order to get any “seeds” and to kill and/or shrink the tumors that exist. After that they can then look at tumor removal or leave it be and do other forms of treatment like radiation. They can also do immunotherapy along side chemotherapy (chlorine in the pool) which helps your body fight in a more natural way (which you all know I like natural).

They NEED to know HIS tumor’s genetic makeup, the genomic profile of the tumor, in order to “concoct” the remedy needed for him. The have to “match the weed with the weedkiller”.

So more than likely, Mark developed cancer of the kidney and the surrounding lymphnodes died trying to fight it off. So he will start of some sort of chemotherapy after they recieve the results. The oncologists said something along the lines of “temporary dialysis and after 4-6 months we can have a new discussion” regarding this. Since the chemo and immunotherapy doesn’t seem to hurt the kidney tissue there is that chance still that his kidney can regain some or more function… and maybe dialysis won’t be as long as they think. (this information can all change tomorrow btw) His cancer seems to be regional and he can start treatment as soon as they get results back.

We/you can pray that it doesn’t totally claim his kidney and that he can go off dialysis eventually without a kidney transplant in the future. FIRST pray for very specific results to come in soon so he can start treatment and doesn’t have to have another biopsy.

If he didn’t seek treatment at all for any of this…his body wouldn’t last long (a few months). If he only did dialysis and ignored the cancer his body would last longer but…not that long (maybe a year). So we really want to get down to business. I’m hopeful they can fight this off…and ideally we would love for him to regain kidney function but we would take a kidney transplant if it doesn’t (2 years after remission they will look into that). But none of you need to start lining up to volunteer just yet.

Yes, it is heart wrenching that of all the organs and areas of the body….that it is the kidney. After being a donor (with ZERO regrets…still!) why does it have to be this!!??

I told my daughter after calling her at college…that I just feel like (as dorky as this sounds) that God will be glorified through all of this and it will be a really cool story. I mean the whole kidney donation was so why not this one too?

Goodnight my friends.