Good news from Texas - I've qualified for the trial study (WOOT!), got to do a little sightseeing, and spent some quality time with family.
I was really impressed with MD Anderson as a whole; the organization as well as the providers. In addition to the doctor running the study (brilliant!) , I was able to meet with the Nurse Practitioner (amazing!) and a Nutritionist. I have to admit that I think the nutritionist was one of my favorite parts - they were able to give me some recipes and some overall guidance for eating that I hadn't received thus far.
So long as my treatment stays on track, the path forward with the trial study consists of:
- 7 more chemo treatments in Charleston at MUSC to shrink my "impressive tumor" (I didn't realize it was so impressive but, go big or go home, right?)
- Take a 3-week break from treatment
- Return to MD Anderson for a week (2-days inpatient) to have laparoscopic surgery to remove any stray tumors and receive HIPEC treatment which is concentrated, heated chemo injected into my abdomen. (Which sounds like a crappy spa treatment for my stomach.)
- Recover in Charleston for four weeks
- Return to MD Anderson for one month (2-weeks inpatient) to have a total gastroectomy. This is where they take out my stomach and reattach my esophagus to my intestines. (Apparently, the stomach isn't really that necessary after all.) No stomach still includes eating, just small meals throughout the day which is what I have to do currently.
The goal by the end of this, of course, is to be cancer-free but this is a trial study so the outcome is unknown. At this point, I am incredibly optimistic and happy to have a plan of action.
Much love to everyone,