Greetings from the Lone Star State! The Cancer Crusade left St. Louis on Thursday and arrived safely in Houston. Friday was a long day for the patient (and his entourage) with a busy schedule of registrations and more testing. Although Kevin had a lot of tests leading up to his diagnosis, MD Anderson does all their own testing. It is obvious that these folks are the experts and we were anxious to get the process going. Kevin had another biopsy, which is currently being analyzed by their pathologist. He also had more labs drawn and then a marathon MRI.
Friday he was also seen by his main doctor, Dr. Shirley Su, who is not only adorable, but brilliant and one of the few experts in the bitch-ass trespassing type of cancer that has called squatter’s rights and established residency in Kevin’s sinus cavity. If anyone can deport these illegal alien cells, I am confident it is her. Bonus track—she is also from Australia and I LOVE to listen to her talk. She is a small woman of Asian descent, but I fully expect her to slap him on the shoulder and say, “No worries, mate. We will have you back to being just a big healthy bloke in no time.”
Her initial impression is that the cancer was caught in the early stages, but is waiting on the test results to confirm the grade and stage, which will determine the actual course of treatment. She nearly guaranteed surgery (removing the tumor, drilling into the brain to make sure the little jackass cells haven’t migrated, and removing the healthy tissue or margins around the tumor), but the unknown is if it will also include radiation or chemo or both. We had hoped that Kevin would be able to get the surgery completed during this trip, but unfortunately that isn’t going to happen. Apparently, when people come from all over the world to seek cancer treatments, there is a high demand for the experts and Big Kevin requires two—Dr. Su and a neurosurgeon. Despite what I think, Kevin is not the only patient here and there are some logistics involved (insert sassy wife eye-roll here). He has to endure a couple more weeks of not being able to sleep or breathe.
So really the update is- there really is no update. MD Anderson is an AMAZING place and there is no doubt we he is exactly in the right place. Being here has dialed down my panic a few notches and I am a little more at peace with getting him better and keeping him that way!
The only thing more amazing than MD Anderson is the love, support, and generosity of ALL OF YOU! For those of you who know me, you know that no matter what I am feeling or thinking there is little or no guesswork involved. Kevin, on the other hand, is geared quite differently. To say that he is laid back and even keeled is probably an understatement. In fact, I have witnessed extreme displays of emotion (anger, sadness, etc.) maybe 10 times in the two-plus decades we have shared. As the messages of hope, concern, encouragement and support have rolled in, it has hit our big guy in a BIG way. More than once over the last few days he had to put his phone away, completely overwhelmed. It is pretty hard to piss Kevin off, but it is even harder to make him cry and he probably won’t like me spilling the beans about his “leaking eyes”. There is no way I can express what a positive impact the community rallying around Kevin (and his family) has had during a time like this, nor could I begin to convey how the display of love and support has left him in awe of “all the fuss” over him. There are no words worthy enough to express our gratitude (I even used my thesaurus).
Kevin will resume his appointments with his doctors on Monday and hopefully we will soon learn what the treatment plan will be. Thank you in advance for your continued prayers. There is no denying that God is at work in a BIG WAY and personally, I am expecting Him to come through in a BIG way! With that being said, those of you who send me text reminders of God’s promises and God’s love, please don’t stop. It keeps the tendency for my prayers of gratitude and faith escalating into sassy and angry rants to a minimum. Kevin is good and I remain a work in progress.