Wednesday, April 22, 2009

amazing grace for one month

i'm in SF for class, flying to ABQ maƱana, to fly back to SF May 5 Tuesday, for MFA graduation Performance May 9 (recommended. have i sent you an invitation? if not, lemme know! i will), last class ever May 10, graduation ceremony May 17 (not recommended, but i'll be there) then i fly to HOU May 18 to have repeat CTscan + ultrasound & see Dr. Ross May 19 Tuesday—treatment to follow according to results and comparisons with previous tests. this after speaking to Dr. Ross late Sunday nite April 19. net: i don't have to think about western med for one whole month! (unless of course symptoms appear/increase, which they have not since Dec. 5 diagnosis = 4.5 mos, in which case i'll drop everything and begin treatment.) whiew, i don't know what to do with this space and time.—but i better get busy on my thesis and last class paper! i send you my love and receive yours as lotus lightning healing every day. marty p.s. this is the first video i ever made ever.—oh lordy have mercy on planet earth, he's gotten started, we shoulda never let him have one a these! it's all over now. hold on!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Surgery now...or surgery later?

This from Marty at about 11:00 a.m. PDT (with a couple of edits)-

this trip back to Houston was to have a bronchoscopy that the "mass" on the CTscan in my trachea below my larynx was mucous/artifact, and not part of my body.

dr. Kies' tack, altered from last week's initial inclination of chemo first; due to reflection on the odd non-MCC behavior of my cancer thus far; is to do partial right neck dissection to remove the known cancerous lymph nodes and biopsy them more definitively in whole. he thinks they may show in more elaborate staining etc. a somewhat different diagnosis as perhaps a different neuroendocrin carcinoma than MCC. he would ideally lean toward surgery asap.

dr. Ross agrees, but is in favor of waiting perhaps 4 weeks (it has been 16 days since the Ultra Sound and 8 days since the CT scan) and take new test/scans and compare them to see if the cancer is advancing & spreading or continuing to retract. i'm not sure if what is found out then may stall surgery further or not, i'll ask when i speak to him.

i see this as one world-top doctor overriding another, amicably, because this is a so highly unusual one-of-a-kind progression (regression) of a very rare-in-itself cancer.

i am in favor and most happy with dr. Ross' plan. there are numerous devious ulterior motives, but i think honestly the real one in me is my body's best sense and spirit (which i know could be wrong, but i am willing to go down with it as my captain).

one of my devious ulteriors is i would like to finish skool. this is heart and spirit and life force, too, as you and i know.

i am planning to keep my flight SWA HOU-SFO 7:10am-10:40am Saturday (Apr.18) and attend class on Sunday and see my advisor on Monday, and probly will today book a flight from OAK-ABQ a week from today (7 day's notice) or soon thereafter; then fly from SF to HOU after May 10 for tests and likely surgery, and whatever after that. that would be my ideal scheme. we will see ....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Marty is home!

Marty is home and feeling fine. His sleepy recollection is that they found nothing out of the ordinary. If he learns anything new in a followup converstation, we will post tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Not "Real" Surgery on Tuesday

Marty reported around noon today, Monday, April 13:

that the operation "will not be any cutting surgery, just a fine needle aspiration biopsy in my trachea". It is considered low risk procedure, although he will be under general anesthesia. The operation will also be in the morning...he will check in 7 or 7:30am and procedure begins at 8am.

Marty plans to stay all day at hospital until he is fully recovered, and his couchsurfing family in Houston will drive him to and from.

He also reports that the surgeon, a male doctor named Georgie Eapen, thinks it's likely mucous and this biopsy is the least elaborate way to make absolutely sure whether it's mucous or not.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Surgery scheduled in Houston for Tuesday, April 14

A report from Marty after a conversation with Dr. Kies this morning, Saturday, April 11, 2009:

i'm flying back to houston tomorrow Sunday, to stay at the same loving couchsurfing family, and to go to prep Monday and anesthetic procedure Tuesday afternoon, coming out after 4pm, all at MDAnderson again, under Dr. Ross, Dr. Kies, and Dr. Holsinger, again, but this time with a Dr. Georgie Eapen, initially anyway, probably a surgeon, in the Cardiopulmonary Center. for a bronchoscopy and likely at least a nother biopsy. i believe i'll be put completely asleep.

the CTscan final report notes a 1/2" mass below my vocal chords, below (or in or around) my larynx. this may be good news. we don't know yet exactly. but it may be the primary site everybody was looking for 3 months ago, if so, this would mean my cancer is a neuroendocrin cancer of another nature than MCC and mite likely be treated differently.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Marty Back to ABQ

Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 10:05 PM

dr ross called, after 10pm! we had a good easy talk. they have what they need to decide on advised treatment plan.

i may, with dr. ross's belief it is not a bad argument and he has no logical argument to convince me or himself otherwise--he offers this freely without my pushing (even without my bringing it up newly), decide to wait a nother 4 to 6 weeks and have a 2nd ultrasound to see if my body is continuing to diminish the nodes.

i may decide to start with chemo which would also sabotage what my body may be doing, which both he and Dr. Keis do not deny.

before we say anything we are waiting for the CT final report to come in.
the decisions and discussions will take place with me in ABQ.

Monday, April 6, 2009

CT scan, to Treatment Plan, Wednesday 4/8/9

it was decided today my vocal chord growth is unrelated to my aggressive MCC diagnosis, and not so worrisome. i'll get a CT scan of head and neck wednesday morning and see medical oncologist Dr. Kies that afternoon to begin full treatment planning, under eyes of Dr. Ross. [this is a test run to see if i can make my own entry into one a these. hi. marty]

Cancer in Lymph Nodes - April 2, 2009

i have cancer cells in 2 eetsie lymph glands biopsied tuesday. that's today's news here in Houston TX. more staining needs to be done to clarify, but the implications are clear.
so. i probly need to have modified neck dissection surgery in the next few weeks here sometime. and i have a pointment to see a head and neck surgeon to biopsy my vocal chord growth just to rule that (unlikely) source out and to combine what is needed there with my other surgery anyway.
whether i go back to ABQ and come back to HOU for the major surgery remains to be seen. if i'm to have chemo and/or radiation i can have them in ABQ.
i've had my ticket adjusted to fly back to ABQ a week from today (at 7am) at no extra cost to me, as a special favor for being a cancer patient at MDAnderson. may have to adjust it again, but they needed to nail it somewhere.
i'm still feeling fine (after a nap). and i'm for the moment at the home of a couch surfing ( family who is coddling me like their long lost favorite aunt even though they only met me tuesday, a brand new adventure i've taken on here for the first time for me, which shows i do have some life and mischief in me yet. i also have funds to carry me through some time here in other forms, and MDAnderson thinks my insurance is kicking in 100% on medical.
so there's a mouthful. i spose you can tell paragraph 1 is the doozie for me. i will take some time to absorb. but i feel very much continued on the right track, and in the best hands.

Needle Biopsies - April 1, 2009

This is an edited update from Marty as of April 1:

was out for a walk ... circling the residential area and golf course across a bayou where i am staying.
it is a tough time. but i am being coddled by this couch surfer family, and many others.
yesterday i met dr. ross for the first time and charlie was right, i like him. in his career of likely 35 years, he's seen two other cases somewhat similar to mine where they had biopsy slides indicating the same thing mine do, and due to some event or other their treatment was delayed and they spontaneously remitted and the glands went down.
i had a nother ultrasound then, and two more FNA fine needle aspiration biopsies of very small but present glands on my right neck, one upper, one lower. they are very sophisticated here and guided the needle by looking on the ultrasound the whole time. the preliminary report is they look like normal lymph gland cells, and not cancer. i will learn more tomorrow morning with Dr. Ross, then may fly back to ABQ in the afternoon, or stay some for a biopsy of my right vocal chord, a doubtful source of my MCC, but just to rule it out.

Couch Surfing - March 30

This from Marty on March 30, 2009:

"i am like in the garden of eden as a place to spend thuh nite"
dear fellow earth sharer siblings.
okay. i don't know. just go to that's where i am tonite.
garden of eden.
okay some of you wouldn't like this. warm and muggy, anything grows. papaya trees in the front yard out my window.
picked me up at the airport. fed me with the family. chicken, roosters, dogs, & cat. overgrown and loved back yard. golf course & bayou across the road. will wake me and drive me to my doctor's appointment to arrive at 7 tomorrow morning 7 miles away.
i'm crashing at 8:30pm.
what can i do to repay? they smile and say we like doing this. it's been done for us in europe and peru and mexico.
i don't know. where am i?

attached is the first digital picture i ever took of me in my life. of me sittin here right now. in houston. happy.
this couch surfin thing is just plain a stounding event in our species.
love. marty
i am taken care of.