Before Surgery Medical Updates

PET Scan & 2nd Opinion

We are feeling good about our treatment options. Leaning towards trachea resection and radiation. PET scan did not show any cancer anywhere else at this time. Few more appointments left to determine when and where we are having the treatment. No date for surgery yet.

Hey Everyone! Thanks again for the continued prayers, I truly believe that it is working! So keep up the good work! I have attached a video below. It is a good idea to watch it if you are unfamiliar with cancer. It is a quick 3 minute video of what cancer is and how it is treated. We found it helpful.

PET Scan Results

Good News! On Monday November 6th I got a PET scan to determine if the cancer had spread anywhere else. The findings showed that the cancer does not appear to be located anywhere else. However, it must be noted that PET scans do not always detect if there is cancer. Remember that cancer is microscopic. Pet scans also tend to have false positives (not mine). Either way, we feel thankful for the positive news and hope it continues.

MD Anderson First Visit

MD Anderson is a well oiled machine. There is absolutely nothing bad I can say about the staff and medical professionals there. From the ease of scheduling to the complimentary valet and valet board, they make it easy which puts you at ease.

Dr. Z and his resident are great physicians. We shared quite a few laughs and that put us at ease. The resident even graduated from Texas Tech Heath Science Center. Wreck’em! The one big thing I liked was that the resident gave me an anesthetic to ease some of the pain prior to placing the scope up my nose. It was a much more pleasant experience this time. During our discussion, Dr. Z said that he agrees that surgery is my best treatment option. He also mentioned that he would be discussing my case to other physicians at a conference on Thursday to determine if there are any other treatment options, but he is very confident that surgery is the first treatment option.  He also believes that in conjunction with radiation it would be the best balance of quality of life and a lower chance of cancer reoccurring. The thing to remember he said that cancer is microscopic, and with surgery it is impossible to know if all the cancer has been removed. Even if they 100% remove the tumor, it is impossible to know if all the cancer was removed. We will be meeting with the radiation oncologists this week, so we should know for sure this week, whether radiation will be part of the treatment plan.

Generally, we felt that we did not get any more significant information. Only confirmed that it is Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma and that surgery is my first treatment option.

Treatment Options include: 

  • Option 1: Trachea Resection
    • Pro: Regain full ability to talk as normal, no removal of voice box.
    • Con: Higher chance that cancer could reoccur in same location.
  • Option 2: Trachea Resection and Radiation
    • Pro: Regain full ability to talk as normal, no removal of voice box.
    • Pro: Lower chance that cancer could reoccur
    • Con: Risk associated with Radiation, difficulty swallowing, pain in throat etc
  • Option 3: Laryngectomy
    • Pro: Lowest chance that the cancer could reoccur in the same location
    • Con: Life long adjustment to living without normal voice and with stoma.

It is also best to keep in mind that with any of this options, there are other risks including still needing a Laryngectomy. We really wont know until after the surgery. This of course could change depending on my upcoming appointments and results.

We have not made a decision yet on which treatment option or what hospital, however we are leaning towards Option 2 and performing the operation at Houston Methodist with Dr D. We feel that Dr. D is more thorough about getting as much information as possible and presenting that information in an easy and clear manner. It is also worth noting that he has been in practiced for over 30 years, has seen ACC in same place, is at the best hospital in Texas (Houston Methodist), and teaches at one of the top teaching hospitals in the country (Baylor).

As far as when this may all happen…we do not know. We hope by the end of the year. We would like to start 2018 off…cancer free!

Upcoming Appointments

Houston Methodist/Baylor College of Medicine

  • November 14th
    • Appointment with Speech Pathologist: Discuss Laryngectomy and how we would address this change to our lives
    • Appointment with Radiation Oncologist: Discuss Radiation Treatment Options
  • November 15th
    •  Endoscopy with Dr. O and Dr. D: To look at tumor in airway and determine if it is in esophagus

MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • November 14th
    • Meeting with Radiation Oncologist

Summary

We are feeling good about our treatment options. Leaning towards trachea resection and radiation. PET scan did not show any cancer anywhere else at this time. Few more appointments left to determine when and where we are having the treatment. No date for surgery yet.

 

A little bit about me: A neck breather. I grew up in Spring, Texas and graduate from Texas Tech University in German and Management Information Systems. I married the love of my life Caitlin after meeting her in Lubbock, Texas. We shortly moved to Houston, Texas where we currently live. On October 26th, 2017 I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. In the coming months I will have to get a laryngectomy to remove by voice box. I started this blog with the encouragement of my wife to inform my family and friends of my progress, and to share my journey as I become a laryngectomee.

4 comments on “PET Scan & 2nd Opinion

  1. Florangela Ceballos

    We don’t know you but this doesn’t change the fact that our prayers are going your way hope that everything goes well and that you will come on top of everything.. the Ceballos family.

  2. I’m sorry you too have this diagnosis. I’m glad to hear you are seeking information from MD Anderson. I received treatment there late 2015 from my Stage 2/3 ACC. They are so very knowledgeable. Praying for you as you continue your journey.

    • Jeremy Deis

      MD Anderson is great! I am sorry to hear that you were also treated with ACC. It has been described to me from a fellow ACC survivor as a wild, goofy, and scary ride. We are learning this to be very accurate. I hope you are doing well. And we pray for you as well.

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