Cautiously Optimistic... that is our motto after our visit to UVA! We left today's visit with a lot of hope and we definitely got some of the questions answered that we have been wondering about for a while. Dr. Martin and her PA Brian looked over all of Dad's reports from all of his other doctors (they were super impressed with Mom's organization!). Their main question was that they did not see conclusive proof that any of Dad's lymph nodes are cancerous. While they were shown as reactive on the PET Scan, the biopsies that were done all came back negative. There is still one lymph node in question, but there has never been a biopsy done on it.
In order for Dad's cancer to be a Stage 3, he has to have lymph nodes that are malignant. With all of that being said, Dr. Martin does not believe that Dad's cancer is as extensive as we were told at first. Her plan from here is to get any records and reports that she hasn't received yet. She also wants to get the actual slides that were done from biopsies- she wants to be able to look at them herself and see what she is dealing with. Once she does this, she is going to talk to the doctor's about possibly cutting down on Dad's total number of radiation visits, but he will finish all of his Chemo.
Dad has another appointment tentatively schedule for May 29th to get another set of scans done and to meet with Dr. Martin. If things look like what she thinks that they will, she will want to do surgery to remove Dad's tumor within weeks of that appointment. Even if things don't come back exactly like she thinks (i.e. there is a cancerous lymph node hiding somewhere), she believes that Dad's cancer is operable. She gave us a lot of hope.
Throughout the whole day today, we truly felt like we were in the right place. Dr. Martin and Brian never made us feel rushed and took all of the time that we needed to talk to them. Dr. Martin even stated that Stage 3 lung cancer is her "bread and butter". It is her passion. She is on the cutting edge of the newest treatments in lung cancer and is involved in creating clinical trials at UVA.
Your continued prayers are always appreciated! We love you all!