Thursday, March 19, 2009

Home from hospital

I want to thank all those who have sent their good wishes, prayers and kind thoughts over the past couple of weeks.

It has been longer than I expected to fire up my computer again, and I am afraid that the news is not as good as I had hoped. Apparently I have cancer of the appendix that has spread sufficiently for me to need chemotherapy. The disease is not in my liver and the largest lymph nodes were removed

I returned from hospital today and I need some time of convalescence.

The histology came back as well differentiated adenocarcinoma that is CEA positive. There were some goblet cells, however, and it would still be compatible with goblet cell carcinoid, a very rare tumor with only 600 cases in the medical literature. but it will require special stains to distinguish (Chromogranin A). I will also need to know whether the k-ras gene is mutated in order to know whether the new EDGFR receptor monoclonal antibodies will be helpful.

I suppose the most optimistic factors and that I was really very well before the surgery, that the liver is not involved and that the CT in February was almost identical with the one in September.

This all suggests that the disease in very indolent (not another 'good' cancer!).

I have yet to be given a final diagnosis and the prognosis is still uncertain.

I will write later about various aspects of this experience, but I just want to say for now that the most comforting element of the whole episode was to recite to myself, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (Isaiah 26:3). Strange how the old King James version comes to me in times of need.


Anonymous said...

You know we are broken over your diagnosis. Yet, we rejoice that you already possess the secret to success and living well with this new health challenge: keeping your mind stayed on HIM, so that you will have HIS perfect peace.

Kevin, Stacie and family

Pat said...

I have waited for your return and more importantly for news of your hospital stay. And now words seem in short supply. Certainly, you will be in my prayers and thoughts for a successful treatment of this cancer. Rest well; be awfully good to yourself.

Pat said...

I, like so many others, have waited for news and now that I have it, words are in short supply. Please know that you are continually in my thoughts and prayers for successful treatment. Be well, be gentle with yourself.

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry:

I am so sorry to hear the news is not the best. But if anyone can navigate this maze it is you. I do not know much about this rare form of cancer, but I know you have some of the most important prognostic indicators: intelligence, intestinal fortitude and a good sense of humor.

A lot of people are rooting for you - I am but one of many thousands of CLL patients / spouses that owe you a debt of gratitude.

Best wishes,

CLL Topics

Anonymous said...

Terry, I'm so sorry that you have to go through all this. The words 'Good cancer' can be very reassuring and I certainly hope it is so. I feel very silly offering advice, but it will do no harm to check out British Journal of Cancer 6600048 - just in case. As well as Cll I am 5years apparently free of Colon Cancer - adenocarcinoma - 5 nodes+, helped I think by above article. Very best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Terry,

Well it certainly isn't the best news but could be worse as I always say about my CLL.So glad the liver wasn't involved and the CT scan has not changed since Sept.But no cancer is "Good Cancer"!

Just know we will keep holding you up in prayer and if there is ever anything else we can do,please don't hesitate to ask!

Glad you are home safely and maybe rest better.I'm glad you liked the Magnolia shrub.I hope it cheers you up some!

God Bless,
Deb & Friends @

Michelle said...

Dear Dr. Terry,
I am sorry about your cancer diagnosis but if anybody can beat this, you can!!! Your positive and bright outlook on life and the fact that there are many people praying for you will make all the world of difference!!!

Be strong dear Dr Terry!!!


Marcia said...

I am not at all surprised that in your time of need you recall the King James rendering of God's promises. I know that for me, the KJ recalls the early foundation of my faith, when all was simple.
As you learn more about your diagnosis and make decisions with your family, may you experience His "peace that passes understanding."
My continued prayers for you seek God's grace for those of us who value your life among us.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear that your results are not so great.We have been nervously waiting to hear the outcome.I am thinking of you and praying for you.Glad you like your Magnolia-hope you enjoy it!
Best wishes...Margaret.

Jane said...

Dear Dr Terry,
I am saddened by your news, but I know that the thoughts and prayers of many people around the world are with you.
I trust that the chemo is completely successful, and that you will be restored to good health.
Jane B
For the CLLSA

David Arenson said...

Darned useless appendix! I'm sorry to hear the news but hopeful that the spread of the cancer has been minimal and that it can therefore be eradicated more easily than might otherwise be the case.

Over the years you have touched many lives and given generously to so many patients -- we stand ready to return the favor, to help in any way we can, starting with our good wishes, thoughts, and prayers.

All the best,


Anonymous said...

Just know that we love you much! Many prayers going up for you!!!

Debbie Young said...

Hi there
I have CLL and have been on a raw vegan diet for 1 1/2 years, keeping my WBC down..
come see what I am up to