Just wanted to give everyone who is checking an update on what's going on, which actually hasn't been much in the last week or so. I had my third chemo treatment yesterday and it went well and I feel pretty good still. Most of the pain I have been having in my chest (that led to discovering this) is gone, which I will take as a good sign, and am hoping is telling me that the tumor is not growing like it was before. The chemo has made me a little sick, but it's not as bad as I expected and I was told that the third chemo is the one that will probably knock my hair out so Shana and I decided to be proactive and we shaved my head (not ALL the way, but close) this morning. She has been asking me to let her cut my hair for like five years now and I finally gave in!
We also got to meet with Dr. Scalzo, my oncologist in Syracuse, yesterday after chemo and he said that it looks like the doctors in Boston have tentatively scheduled my first surgery for the week of December 9th. This would be the open-heart surgery to resect the tumor and remove a piece of my stermum. We were unaware of that before, but we are assuming that they needed to book the surgeons time, even though there is a chance I won't be ready for surgery at that point. I have my follow-up scans scheduled for the last week of November and the first week of December and those will basically tell us if the chemo is working and if we can move forward with the surgery. My three main doctors (Dr. Scalzo, Dr. Butrynksi and Dr. Gorman) have been amazing to us through this ordeal and every time we talk to them we get the feeling they really care. They make you feel like you are their only patient and spend as much time with you as you want answering questions and talking about what's going on.
Our spirits are still high and I really believe that I will beat this. I am taking it one day at a time and for now am just concentrating on letting the chemotherapy do it's job while I live my life. I went back to work on Tuesday, which felt great and once again my employer and co-workers (who are like a second family) have been GREAT through this ordeal. I am going back to Buffalo for the Jets game tomorrow (Go Bills!) and am excited about the month of November as by the end of this month I will be ready to move on to the next step of treatment. Though I wouldn't wish this on anyone, I have to admit that this experience has taught me a lot about what's important in life and where my priorities are.
Shana and I have to thank everyone, once again (and will a million more times) for all the support we have received. I learned about a benefit that is being planned by my family and friends and we are both deeply moved by peoples willingness and want to help and I don't have words that can come close to expressing how thankful we are. I (and my entire extended family) are truly blessed that we have each other and I have said over and over I couldn't walk this walk without them. Also, to my wife, immediate family and in-laws, I really don't know what I would do without you guys and I love you all so much. Thanks!