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One door closes…

Take this, butthead, scram!!

And another one opens up. My scan results were not what we were hoping for. We were wanting the scan to just show continued stability, a little bit of small growth here and there, nothing out of the norm, so to speak. Unfortunately that was not the result we got. A tumor has grown to about 5 cm’s from around 3 cm’s in October in my chest wall. Other tumors that were also there in October have grown too, but nothing as dramatic as this one. (how about we call it butthead?). Most of the other smaller tumors are located within the lung, not the chest wall. I’m not really sure of the pros and cons of chest wall vs lung, but for now the good news is that because of location, “butthead” is a good candidate for our old friend Mr. Cyberknife.

Backing up a little bit. On Wednesday (the 6th) I flew into the Bay Area for the day. Had the scan at UCSF, met with Dr. Dormady in Mountain View, gave some blood, hung out with Mom and Dad, had some bad chicken wings at the airport, enjoyed a good Pale Ale, and was on my way home by 7:00. We had pre-arranged that Dr. Mann would deliver me the results via telephone from China (where he is working on a very important project). Jennie got home last night about 6:00 and came upstairs to await the call from Dr. Mann. While we were waiting, we had some really “deep” conversations. All good. And very reflective on the last 7 years we have been going through all of this. We made an attempt to try and figure out how many of these “results” sessions we have been through (the over/under was 25). And how these sessions were not getting any better with age (like the wine we were drinking). For what’s it worth, I highly recommend a glass or two of nice aged Cabernet before you get scan results.

Eventually the China call came from Dr. Mann. As is his style, there was no panic in his voice. In fact he started out sounding very positive. I glanced over at Jen with a smile. He began by saying that things overall looked pretty good, however, he then broke into the problem with butthead. As he explained it to us, butthead is in the chest wall, not the lungs themselves, which is a positive from a location stand point (easier to access surgically, and not necessarily near any major life threatening organs). It’s also in an area that is better to utilize radiation (aka Cyberknife). As a result, Dr. Mann immediately teed up a solution. He would talk to Dr. Gottschalk, our Radiation guru from UCSF, and get his take on Cyberknife as a treatment option. We talked a little about another surgery but only in the event that we did not have a whole lot of other options. But it’s nice to know at least that is still in our back pocket. We reviewed the rest of the scan, still a lot of buggers in there, some in the lungs, possibly one in the sternum, more of the same. I asked him, “this is not good, right”?. He said “not necessarily, but there is no need to panic, nothing life-threatening, dire, etc”. That’s all I really wanted to hear. The game is still going, I’ve still got the ball. After a few tears, I jumped in the shower. As I was drying off, I heard my phone ringing. It was Dr. Mann calling back from China. In the time that it had taken me to take a shower, he had already spoken to Dr. Gottschalk and convinced him that he should give butthead a blast from hell. This morning I received the call from Dr. Gottschalk’s office setting up my appointment for next week. Thank you Dr. Mann for opening up that other door.

All of the Dougherty love (Mike, Jen, Chart and Poke)

8 Responses to “ “One door closes…”

  1. ~S says:

    Mike, I’ll be thinking of you next week! Blast that Butthead away! In the meantime, that Charlotte is getting so big and beautiful.
    XOXO

  2. ~S says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Ironlady says:

    My thoughts going out to you snd your family. Blasting Butthead thoughts, that is!

  4. Ironlady says:

    My thoughts going out to you snd your family. Blasting Butthead thoughts, that is!

  5. Shannon Holt says:

    Geez Mike! Not the news we were hoping for. We are here for you and your sweet family. Lean on us. We are praying for you.

  6. Thanks everyone for your support. It’s all good. Already booked Gottschalk on Wednesday, butthead will be a distant memory very soon. Hurdles come up, we can’t control them, but you get to decide how you knock em down. Please hold my hand and let’s knock em down together.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “Thank you Dr. Mann for opening up that other door.”

    Indeed. This is good.

  8. Catherine says:

    If I haven’t told you lately how much I love you, now it’s official. You and Jenny and lovely little one are people I aspire to daily. Your courage is amazing. Hard to believe what you guys have been through… yet you serve us with such strength and hope. Butthead deserves to be blasted (gently of course). I continue to fight for you Michael and share your story with the many patients I speak with daily.

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