This morning I went to my first consultation with Dr. Carol Swallow at Princess Margaret Hospital. Mark met me there. It is regular procedure to meet with other doctors, nurses and researchers during the consultation. When I received the message about my upcoming appointment with Dr. Swallow, I was asked to bring in a CD of the scan images. I found this an odd request; couldn’t the doctor request it of the diagnostic imaging department herself? Couldn’t the hospital transmit the images to her electronically? I didn’t dwell on it and simply called up the Mississauga Hospital and they burned a CD for me on the spot. I picked it up last Friday and couldn’t resist taking a look at it. I found two images, above, which I believed to be my tumour. Dr. Teagan Telesnicki, whom I met first, confirmed that the round shape below my liver in the above image, and above my right kidney in the lower image was indeed my tumour. Note that the right kidney appears on the left side of the lower image. She showed Mark and me more of the CT images and interpreted them for us.
There is a small chance that the tumour will be benign, and thus a lipoma. Drs. Swallow and Telesnicki were “suspicious” that it was a malignant liposarcoma, however. I will have a biopsy in two weeks to determine what kind it is, and if it is malignant, what specific kind of liposarcoma it is. I will then meet with Dr. Swallow in five weeks to discuss what will happen next. Treatment might even include chemotherapy or radiation prior to surgery. Even before my consultation I let my gallows humour flow and considered postoperative treatment, including chemotherapy. I told Mark a few weeks ago that the best chance of getting a haircut in these COVID times would be to undergo chemo. In spite of this serious medical condition I am still finding the lighter side.
The doctors revealed that liposarcoma occurs in less than 1% of all cancers and is indeed rare. Nothing about my lifestyle could have prevented it and my fitness and overall excellent health will get me through it. Surgery will not come until later.
Mark took copious notes and I will rely on him to clear up some questions that I still have. Dr. Swallow assured me that I could also contact her office. There are myriad possibilities about what could happen next, and it helps no one to go into each and every path my anatomical flowchart might lead. I know a lot more today, and will know even more in five weeks.