Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Questions...I want to cover them all

Hello! Brea here this time. I'm typing up a list of questions to ask the doctor. We just want to be sure that we fully understand the situation as best as we can before actually beginning any treatment plan. We are pretty sure that we will be proceeding with the radial amputation but again we just want to be thorough that we have asked all the questions we can so that our decision is as informed as possible. I mean who really wants to set an appt to "give cancer the finger". So this is what I have right now, I'm sure there are other and better ones to ask but I can't think right now so I thought I would seek help from whoever is willing to offer it. Based on what you know from following our blog, which is pretty much everything we know, what questions would you ask, or in the case of some of mine, ask again? I know that some of mine are kinda stupid or redundant but I would rather look stupid to one of the best doctors in the world than not have the peace of mind knowing that I asked. So please share, if you can't comment on the blog for some reason send us an email or facebook comment or message.

Why is watching it even an option? Isn't that basically waiting for it to get worse since the margins were not clear or is it possible the remaining cells won't actually do anything?

Since we know the margins were not clear but the cancer has been down-graded is radiation on his finger a possible treatment to kill the remaining cells if we decide not to do the radial at this time?

Is removing additional tissue but not the whole finger an option at all?

Is there a likelihood of phantom pain? Or chronic pain in his hand?

In low grade sarcoma what is the recurrence percentage in other patients when initial site is not completely removed?

Since it is considered a less aggressive cancer does that mean it is not as likely to metastasize?

If the radial is done will other treatments also be necessary? Radiation, chemo?

Can we have the lower half of his body checked to be sure he does not have the misfortune of having another growth in a place that we have not looked at yet?

How long would the surgery be for the radial?

How long is the healing process?

The cancer was in his finger for over a year without spreading, what is the likelihood that it will spread now that the tumor was removed but the margins were not clear?

Thanks so much!

1 comment:

  1. Van and I have read your questions and as long-term cancer survivors we think you have done a good job. Kudos to you for getting copies of all your tests. That's the way to do it. And your question in a previous post of exactly what makes them downgrade it is a good one, too.

    You must know that I have leukemia and Van was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in 2001. He has been through chemo, three types of radiation, several surgeries and finally a clinical trial for a new drug that put his melanoma in remission. We have our fingers crossed it stays that way. From our own personal experience, we would opt for any treatment that would assure the best chance to keep it from recurring. In your case, that would mean the surgery. We just don't want to give cancer ANY chance at all. Just our way of dealing with it.

    Good luck in your decision. Or have you already made it?