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December 02, 2004

Popping Cancer

Here's the update:

I saw the doctor Thursday afternoon. He removed the drainage tube (Ouch! Hey, ouch!) and bandaged me back up, including the incision itself which comes in at a sleek and painful 8 inches long. I've never caught a fish that big outside of the Atlantic Ocean. Needless to say, my back looks like the loser in a fight with Wolverine.

The lump itself (which my doctor said was the size of a fist... yay!) is still under investigation. It was supposed to be a harmless lipoma, but reality happened to crash that party. The surgeon said it had characteristics of a benign tumor (clear fluid) and a malignant cancerous sarcoma (blood vessels and spreading cells). According to the surgeon, who looks about 12-years old by the way, there was so much necrosis (dead cells and whatnot) that the more local pathology folks couldn't figure it out with certainty (what they call "concensus").

So it goes up another level and the big boys of the pathology world will report back, although it might take another full week. Yay! More anxious waiting! Nothing fills those boring hours like cold, raving fear of the unknown.

So I get to preach a sermon in the meantime, trying to inspire and lead a congregation that really should be preaching a sermon to me, and pray that nobody is so happy to see me back in church that they slap me on the back.

Depending on the results:

(1) It's nothing and I just take another week to heal up and all is well except for the half dozen seminary papers now past due, or,

(2) It's something and we get to do more surgery, this time on a wider scale ("Wider than an 8-inch incision?" was my actual breathless question. The answer: yep, it would require skin grafts), since I can't do the normal treatment, which is radiation, because at 18 I got all the radiation you're allowed to do for your entire life in a 6-month life-saving span. You can't beat that amount of radiation without becoming a member of the Fantastic Four or something (mmmm... Jessica Alba as Sue Richards... turning her invisible is a crime).

Any questions?


Posted by Dan at December 2, 2004 10:43 PM

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Well . . . crap. I'll keep you in my thoughts, Dan, and I certainly wish you a benign tumor and a complete lack of skin grafts. And a non-invisible Jessica Alba.

Good luck, well being, all that good stuff and, of course, keep us updated.

Posted by: Joel Caris at December 3, 2004 02:36 AM

I'll keep you in my thoughts, Dan. You just keep Jessica Alba in yours . . .

Posted by: folkbum at December 3, 2004 06:49 AM

Jesus, man. I had no idea.

Hang in there.

Posted by: Ara Rubyan at December 3, 2004 12:13 PM

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