Monday, May 16, 2011


Well, today was the day. Dr. Leitao at Sloan-Kettering promised he'd call me today, when he returned to the office after a week at a robotic surgery convention in Greece.

True to his word, and much earlier in the day than I had expected, Dr. Leitao called. I saw the number pop up on my caller ID and my stomach dropped. It's him! What will he tell me? Will he have better news than the last two doctors? Oh, please let it be good news.

"Hello?" "Hi Suzanne. It's Dr. Leitao. I wish I had something more definitive to tell you, but the pathology report is still inconclusive."

He proceeded to explain that after reading the report, and calling his pathologist directly to discuss the results, they still can't positively determine if I have Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma or not. There are normal cervical cancer cells and there are abnormal cancer cells, but whether the abnormal ones are actually Small Cell is unclear.

"You're a mystery." He said with a chuckle. "Well, I like to stand out." I joked.

Dr. Leitao went on to tell me that he's put my case on the agenda for the Tumor Board Meeting on Thursday night. That way, my slides will be displayed for all of the top doctors to see and offer suggestions and input. They'll have a discussion about all of the possibilities for me, and decide what they think is best.

"Wow! I'm famous!" I quipped.

I asked about the possibilities for treatment again. Dr. Leitao still maintained that if they decide it's definitely not Small Cell, we can continue with just a larger cold knife cone biopsy and no additional treatment, unless the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes. He also explained that if the majority of doctors feel it is Small Cell, or if there's too much of a chance that it MIGHT be Small Cell, the safest thing to do would be a radical hysterectomy. That way, after everything is out, they can test all of the tissue and come to a conclusive answer as to what is going on in my body. We can hope for the best that there are only normal cancer cells, and then no additional treatment will be necessary. But if they find Small Cells at that point, I'll need radiation and chemo - probably simultaneously.

"Ok, so if I end up needing radiation and chemo, when will that start? How long will it take? And can I have the surgery as scheduled on June 14th and then wait until after my wedding to do the treatments?"

He explained that we would need to wait a month after surgery to start treatments, they would probably go right up to the wedding date, and if it is Small Cell, we can't wait. I asked if I'd still be able to get married while I'm going through the treatments.

"Uhhhhh, hmmmm, I really don't know if that would be possible. It just depends how your body handles the chemo. There's really know way of knowing until you start."

Not the answer I was looking for. Ok, I'm gonna stand on the ledge of that bridge until someone pushes me off. I'm just not canceling my wedding unless I'm face-down in the toilet and physically unable to walk down the beautiful, pink rose petal-lined aisle.

"Should I come see you on Friday after your meeting to discuss what was said? That way, my mom and fiance can be there too." "Yes, that's fine." He replied. "By the way, I hate to ask, but what does your fiance do? I saw the words 'ROCK STAR' across his knuckles." I laughed. "He's a drummer." Dr. Leitao's voice smiled over the phone, "That's great. I could never so something like that." I smiled back, "Hey, you save lives and he plays the drums. It's all good. See you on Friday."

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