We are fortunate
to be under the continued care of Dr. Garrity. I asked him if
he considered Tom's cancer to be in remission. He said no, but
that I could say that Tom's tumor had been completely excised
with clear margins.
not use the words cancer and cure in the same sentence. But the
fact that the tumor was less than 5 cm in size and that clear
surgical margins were obtained is a good sign. My research on
sarcomas indicates that follow-up care is crucial. We are blessed
that the Mayo Clinic will provide this care.
Tom was fitted
for a prosthesis. The transplanted tissue looked healthy.
to Rochester for a consult on the prosthesis. The orbital area
tissue continued to look viable.
A year had
passed, and a CAT scan indicated the area that had been of some
concern was merely scar tissue. Dr. Garrity was cautiously optimistic.
his prosthesis! We think the dog ate it. We returned to Rochester
for a new one. At that time, Tom was also fitted with a "conformer,"
a prosthesis without a ledge to hold the eyelid up, which he wears
to Rochester to check the fit of the new prosthesis. All indications
are that the orbital area continues to be healthy. We will return
to Mayo in October 2002 for further monitoring. This date is a
milestone. Most high grade sarcomas tend to recur and/or metastasize
within the first two years. Friends have volunteered to host a
celebration. Stay tuned!
We have passed
a major milestone and the CAT scan remains clear. Tom is next
scheduled for a scan in two years. The prosthesis in his left
orbital area sits lower than his right eye. Eventually, he will
be fitted with a shim which will raise the prosthesis.
healthy and optimistic. Seeing through only one eye does have
some limitations, but he has learned to compensate. He passed
his latest vision test to renew his driver's license. His license
bears the stipulation that he has to have a left side mirror (which
I thought was a requirement for all cars!)
If you are
reading this and need encouragement, please do not hesitate to
contact me via e-mail. I know what it's like to walk in darkness.
You are not alone.