We met with the doctors again yesterday. This time it was with both research doctors, Dr. Wang and Dr. Gottschalk. They were both very interested in the swelling around the known tumor sites. JoLynne told them that she had been peeling off bone from inside my wound. I'm not sure if I mentioned that before. We have several areas of known tumor. One of them we can see plain as day though the gapping hole in the side of my face. It looks like a mound of bone that grew out of my natural bone. The other day JoLynne was poking at it with her tweezers while changing my bandage and chunks of it started coming off. She kept at it for some time until she had a gauze full of dead tumor bone laying there. Sometimes I am grateful that I have no nerve in that part of my face. I just kind of assumed that this was dead tumor caused by radiation 18 months ago. The research doctors felt that was unlikely after so much time and were more inclined to think it was being killed by T cells. The doctors decided that they wanted to take a look inside of my wound. I warned them that it wasn't pretty but they wouldn't be dissuaded. So JoLynne took off the bandages and you could kind of see their jaws drop. In the awkward silence that followed JoLynne said "Few women have been able to see inside their husbands head quite like this" That broke the tension. We all had a good laugh. That JoLynne, she is a funny girl. Anyway, they took some samples from the wound and JoLynne put the bandages back on. The doctors wanted to know where she had her nursing training. She smiled and said, I'm not a nurse. I have a degree in zoology. Eric is my only patient. Anyway, swelling around the tumor in my temple continues. The amount of drainage from that area has more than doubled in the last few days. All of those are encouraging signs. I hurt more too, which I don't like but if that means it's working, I will deal with it.
A sneaky cruise: Don't tell!
On Monday we fly to Miami to meet with a reconstructive surgeon. He is a very famous oral surgeon and we feel so grateful he is willing to see us. After that we are flying Adam and Elizabeth to Miami and going on a four day cruise. We told our doctors here we were going to Miami for the reconstruction consult, they were okay with that. We didn't tell them about the cruise. Sometimes it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission.