We are not close. We are so not close that I call her my evil sister and I haven’t heard from her – my other sister (the good one) got a call today, and gave me what little news is available.
She had such severe rectal bleeding that she went to an ER. They say there is a very large growth in her rectum – test results due tomorrow will supposedly determine whether or not it is cancerous. I don’t have much faith in her commonsense ability to ask reasonable questions, and she doesn’t have other family out where she is to ask questions for her. She’s in Phoenix AZ.
From what she says, the growth is so large that they will treat it with radiation to shrink it before removing it, whether or not it is malignant. I have never heard of such a thing, and I wonder whether she got the facts wrong, whether they’re not telling her the whole story for some kind of morale purposes, or whther this is just something that is done but I haven’t heard of.
I feel fortunate that I can get expert medical advice for just about anything as I work in a hospital. On Wednesday morning I will be providing technical support to the “tumor board”, which does peer case reviews of patients in the 3 hospitals in town. I’m going to spring a surprise patient on them. I hope by that time to have a little more diagnostic information availble.
I’m concerned about the hospital she’s in, which has no clinic for cancer treatment. But I suppose they will refer her to a better-equipped place for follow-up treatment.
If anyone can think of good questions to ask my local docs, please let me know.
I have a few questions already like:
Is doing radiation treatment to a non-cancerous tumor a real option?
If it is cancer, what are the likely outcomes and the odds of them?
If it’s NOT cancer, what are the likely outcomes and the odds of them?
Can they give me a name of a good specialist out in Phoenix?
Is she going to be able to maintain herself in her home without help during radiation treatment?
How long will she need assistance in the home before and after surgery?
I have two sisters, and the other one was diagnosed with early stage melanoma a couple years back. So far, no recurrences-- luckily it was detected extremely early.
And until a couple of years ago, I would have said there is no family history of cancer.