Where there is sadness, joy

mayo clinic
guest house
faith and prayer

fountain in the Groves Foundation Meditation Room

February 2001:

We returned to the Mayo Clinic where Tom underwent a CAT scan, which was negative. This scan will be used as a baseline for continued monitoring, as the same machine will be used for future scans. Our children went with us and met the people who had so drastically touched our lives.

Dr. Garrity was pleased with Tom's progress. Tom's left Orbital area had healed nicely, the muscle flap appeared healthy, and the area was now ready to be fitted with a prosthesis.

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.

Mayo does 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.

May 2001:

Tom was fitted for a prosthesis. The transplanted tissue looked healthy.

August 2001:

Tom returned to Rochester for a consult on the prosthesis. The orbital area tissue continued to look viable.

October 2001:

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.

February 2002:

Tom lost 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 at night.

May 2002:

We returned 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!

October 2002:

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.

Tom remains 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.


Copyright © 2002 Bev Fotovich