Before Surgery Medical Updates

First Houston Methodist Appointment

We decided to get a second opinion with MD Anderson here in Houston. We met with the Houston Methodist team and really appreciated their care, concern and honesty. We have alot of appointments coming up over the next two weeks. We will keep you updated!


First off, I would like to thank my beautiful and wonderful wife Caitlin for being so brave during this whirlwind of a week. I am so thankful that I have her in my life and am lucky that I have her next to me while I endure all of this. Secondly, thanks to everyone that has been posting the comments to the page and for your outpouring of love and support.  It has been wonderful to see all the words of encouragement.

October 30th – Second Opinion

  • We have decided to get a second opinion at MD Anderson Cancer Center. We have been very happy with both Dr. O and Dr. D but decided to check out MD Anderson as they are the #1 Cancer Center in the world and are located in Houston as well. Dr. O refered us to Dr. Z. We have not made a decision on which place to undergo treatment at yet. We are currently trying get as much information as possible
  • My appointment with them is on November 13th with Dr. Z.

November 2nd – Meeting with Dr D. – Oncologist and Otolaryngology

  • We both really liked Dr. D. He has been in practice for over 30 years, and even trained the doctor I am going to see at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has seen this type of cancer 4 times before but he said that there is not a doctor in the world that has seen this type of cancer more than 10 times in their lifetime.
  • The good news about this type of cancer is that most of the time it can be treated with surgery and typically patients are cured after surgery. The bad news is that 20 years ago the recommended surgery was a full laryngectomy (removal of voice box). Dr. D is “pretty optimistic” that they will be able to perform the surgery *without* removing the voice box. Obviously that is what we want to happen but the goal is to be cancer free.
  • Typically this type of cancer is slow growing and localized. This type of cancer occurs in the salivary glands. As stated this is a rare form of cancer and rare to occur in the trachea. Dr. D stated that it is uncommon for this type of cancer to reoccur outside of the original location.
  • He wants to do an endoscopy to get a look at my airway and to determine if the tumor has spread to my esophagus. This would be done with Dr. O as well, who is the airway specialist.
  • Dr. D also thinks that it would be a good idea to talk to a speech pathologist to discuss the limitations and expectations should a laryngectomy occur.
  • Lastly, he recommended that I see a Radiation Oncologist to discuss treatment options including radiation, however that does not appear to the best treatment at this time.
  • Overall we were very happy with his “bedside manner” and our discussion about our treatment options.
  • He said that surgery would most likely happen within 1-3 months. Our plan right now is to get all the information we can in November and be able to make a decision to have the surgery sometime in December. Obviously this could shift at anytime.

Upcoming Appointments

  • Houston Methodist/Baylor College of Medicine 
    • November 6th – PET Scan
    • November 7th – Appointment with Primary Care Physician
    • November 15 – Endoscopy
    • Appointment with Speech Pathologist – TBD
    • Appointment with Radiation Oncologist – TBD
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center
    • Monday November 13th
      • CT Scan in morning
      • Appointment with Surgical Oncologist
    • Appointment with Radiation Oncologist

Summary

We decided to get a second opinion with MD Anderson here in Houston. We met with the Houston Methodist team and really appreciated their care, concern and honesty. We have alot of appointments coming up over the next two weeks. We will keep you updated!

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.

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