The pathology report came back last night. The tumor is still defying all conventions. They have had all of the pathologists that they can think of look at it, and they are all quite puzzled. The tumor shows characteristics of being benign but also of being a high-grade sarcoma. After multiple opinions, the pathologist have finally made their report. The internal portion of the tumor has been classified as a high-grade osteosarcoma because the nuclei of the cells are highly malignant, but the external encapsulation has been classified as benign. So it is an encapsulated high-grade osteosarcoma. The thing is, high-grade sarcomas are never encapsulated. They have never heard of this happening before. High-grade sarcomas usually are invasive into all of the surrounding tissues and can never be removed completely cleanly. But because of the benign like encapsulation, the tumor removal was completely clean. All the margins were clean and all of the lymph nodes. It is almost as though the encapsulation grew around this tumor to protect him from it.
We have been joking that the pathologist didn't know how to classify the tumor, because it is a miracle and they have never seen this kind of miracle tumor before. I'm pretty sure they couldn't write that on their pathology report though. It would be pretty funny to see a pathology report with "miracle tumor" as the classification.
So now the doctors are trying to decide what to do about it. Last night radiation was on the table, but we just heard from Dr. Foote, the radiation oncologist that they have officially decided not to do radiation. The surgeons don't want to do anything because it was completely clean and came out like a benign tumor. The medical oncologists are talking the possibility of chemo right now, but there is no decision about that yet. We think it might take a few days and several more consultations until there is an official decision about what to do going forward.
In the meantime, my dad is healing well. He is progressing much more rapidly than scheduled (due to all of your prayers which are being answered by our gracious Heavenly Father I am sure) and all things considered, he is feeling quite well. This morning they removed his tracheotomy which he is so grateful for. He is talking again, and has been up walking quite a bit with a walker. He has made four laps around the nursing station which adds up to about 200 feet total- well on his way to his next marathon.
Here's a picture of him with his metal tracheotomy. I think he looks like a borg. But he looked like a storm trooper with this plastic one the day before, so he is just working on emulating his way through several great sci-fi shows.