gave us two treatment options:
- Leave the
area alone and deal with the tumor in the event it returns.
remove all tissue in the left orbital area. This would be done
on an out patient basis and the area would be packed with gauze.
Gradually the gauze would be removed over a series of office visits.
The first option
seemed foolhardy and the second seemed grotesque, leaving Tom with
a large hole where his left eye used to be. We left the doctor's
office in a daze, and made an appointment with the local oncologist
he recommended. The first available appointment was several weeks
I spent two
agonizing days and nights searching the Internet and making endless
phone calls. In my research, I found that in 1997, 3,000 people
in the United States were diagnosed with sarcomas. Of those 3,000,
5% were fibrosarcomas. Of those 150, I found no information about
fibrosarcomas located in the eye area. (Refer to the Resources link
for Web sites.)
I faxed a letter to Dr.
Nascimento, the pathologist at the Mayo
Clinic who had made the original diagnosis, and asked for his
help. He called me within the hour and told me under no circumstances
to leave the area alone. The tumor had not been completely removed
and when it grew back it would probably metastasize quickly. He
also advised me to get Tom to a major cancer treatment center as
soon as possible, as time was crucial. He recommended we contact
James Garrity at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
I also talked
with a pathologist at the University
of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He spoke highly of Dr. Nascimento's
work, and suggested I send a tissue block to Dr. Harry Evans at
MD Anderson for a confirming diagnosis.
phone calls and faxes, within days we were on our way to the Mayo
Clinic. The day Tom finished his treatment at Mayo was the same
day we would have had our first office visit with the local oncologist.