It’s the day after round 1 of chemo and we’re back in the hospital. A very different part of the hospital. Actually, it’s an entirely different hospital and this time, John will endure his second bronchoscopy since this ordeal started. The first bronchoscopy was done because his CT scan showed ‘a spot’. The pulmonologist related two different concerns; one being an autoimmune issue and other being a fungal pneumonia. We’ll take the lesser of the two evils, please. Imagine our shock when the results came back negative for neither and positive for cancer. What the hell?? We then learned that the sample was so small that they really can’t tell us much; except to say it’s lung cancer.
In our three hour initial meeting with the oncologist, he relates a diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer. This is based on the little sample that was found in the initial bronchoscopy and through a PET scan that shows a spot on John’s lung, fluid in the lung, a spot under his right arm, a spot on his right pelvis and one more on his C1 vertebrae. At this point, his oncologist relates limited treatment options given the limited information. He recommends chemotherapy and taking a biopsy from the spot under John’s arm so we can find out the cancer type and molecular structure, and to potentially expand the treatment options.
We’re simultaneously surprised and puzzled when the biopsy under his arm comes back negative for any cancer. Hmmmmm. Thus, the second bronchoscopy.
John is pretty funny when he’s pre and post op. A little loopy and quite talkative. After the procedure, the surgeon gives us the thumbs up letting me know John was cracking jokes during the entire operation (of which he has no memory). When the Dr. asks him how many samples he should take from the lung, John recommends 9 (?). The Dr, thinks 8 is plenty and calls it good.
John’s also a medical trooper, enduring 7 hours of chemotherapy one day and an outpatient ~ yet invasive ~ procedure the next. Yet, I don’t really understand what kind of amazing trooper he is until this weekend.