Pearl update

Posted in Uncategorized by beebe4 on August 9, 2004

I took Friday off work to be an official member of the Tureman entourage. Cancer treatment is a three headed beast (as most of you know), but just to reiterate… the weapons are surgery, drugs (chemo), and radiation. Of course the medical profession refuses to use simple terms so we will also refer to the doctors as the Surgeon, the Medical Oncologist, and the Radiation Oncologist, specifically in Pearl’s case David Vargas MD, Valiant Tan MD, and Mathew Sinesi MD.

As of Friday Dr. Vargas had given a rough diagnosis of a T3 mass (N and M are still unknown) meaning that she is either in Stage IIa, IIIb, IIIc, or IV… but she has had two CT scans that should have shown spread to other organs and there has been no mention of it, which is wonderful news.

Given this diagnosis, Vargas has decided to use Chemo and radiation as the first line of defense to stop potential tumor spread and decrease the tumor before surgery. She begins radiation and chemotherapy on August 16th, with surgery scheduled 6 weeks after treatment completion (to allow the organs to heal prior to surgery). She will undergo 25-30 treatments with the radiation being given 5 days a week (at 11 am everyday) and chemo therapy being delivered via a continuous drip being removed on the weekends. Dr. Tan (the Medical Oncologist, aka Chemo doctor) has selected 5Fu as his weapon of choice.

Dr. Sinesi (as far as I can tell the head of the Cancer treatment center at the hospital) seemed like an excellent human being and a fine doctor. The treatment center was quite impressive, issuing a scan card to Pearl, and being very precise about the radiation… giving her an additional CT Scan in order to pinpoint the angles to point the radiation and tattooing her (with single pinpoint dots) to assist in lining up the radiation rays for quicker treatment sessions. Pearl told the nurse that she felt a little to old to be getting tattoos 🙂 When she arrives daily, all she has to do is scan the card and the office will automatically go into action, knowing that she is there.

They said that since the 5Fu is pretty easy on the system and the radiation is localized to the rectum the typical negative effects of radiation and chemo (hair loss, body sores) should be non-existent. She shouldn’t lose her hair, and potentially only experience mouth sores and rectum discomfort, with slight hair thinning.


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