Patrick had a post surgery appointment with Dr. D. on Monday. We left the girls home with my mom and made the trip to the big city. After checking in and a short wait, Patrick was in the examination chair. Dr. C. came in and took a look in Patrick's mouth and mentioned that everything looked good. He also said that the swelling would continue to go down then he removed the stitches in Patrick's neck. Just a few short minutes later and Dr. D. came in and did a quick scan of Patrick's tongue too. He said he was pleased with how everything was going and that they had talked about Patrick's case over lunch today. The cancer board all agreed that there was no need to continue with any other treatment. Another confirmation that chemotherapy and radiation are not necessary. Do we know if there are any cancer cells left in Patrick's body? Sadly, no. What we do know is that for now the stage two cancer we've been fighting since the diagnosis on January 14th seems to be at bay. I wish I could record Dr. D. as he speaks to us. The way he phrases things is perfect. Dr. D. said that over the next several years Patrick will be getting regular scans be an MRI, CT, or PET scan. At first every few months then every six months, then once a year. We will be going back in two more weeks for another post-op appointment.
Today, we saw Dr. V. who was also pleased with the way things are going. He lowered his surgical glasses, grabbed a light, and took a look at Patrick's tongue. Once done examining the flap, he removed the bandage from Patrick's arm and took a look at the donor site. He poked and prodded a bit and told us that the scar trailing up his arm would greatly improve over the next few weeks. Dr. V. also mentioned that although the flap site would remain discolored it would heal up nicely. There were a few stitches placed in Patrick's neck when they stepped the trach down to the smaller, metal version. The stitches were not ready to come out when we were at Dr. D.'s on Monday, so Dr. V. took them out. He mentioned that the scar on Patrick's neck would take about six to eight weeks to start to smooth out and lay down. Lastly, Dr. V. and his PA took a few pictures of Patrick's tongue. I'm not sure if the pictures were for his personal library or for the new patient of Dr. D.'s that was recently diagnosed and will be traveling the same journey as Patrick. My heart goes out to him.
We left with another follow-up appointment and ventured up the freeway to the hospital where Patrick works. We were surrounded by his imaging family as he told of surgery and recovery. They were all so pleased to see him and I was proud to stand there as he described his battle. He felt the support and looks forward to being back at work. Depending on how his recovery goes, Patrick will tentatively be heading back to work after the first week of March. It seemed like all we were doing before was waiting, and now it seems as though time is flying by. I'm grateful for that as the faster time flies, the faster we are done with this journey.