Yesterday was Diagnosis Day. Susan and I went to Memorial Cancer Center for my first face-to-face with Dr Dax Kurbegov. He’s a well-trained, well-spoken oncologist and hematologist. He also happens to be the Medical Director of an award winning clinic. Nothing like starting at the top!

Dr. Dax doing his job
Dr. Dax doing his job

Based on all the tests, he confirmed my self-diagnosis (read “hopeful guess”). My lymphoma is at Stage II (out of IV). My bone marrow is unaffected and the cancer has not spread elsewhere in my body. I have no other complications and should respond well to chemo. My regime will be the standard R-CHOP, which includes rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone.

Guess who is older and who is smarter
Guess who is older and who is smarter

In the afternoon I had my MUGA (Multiple Uptake Gated Acquisition) scan. It checks heart function, which is something they keep a close eye on since the heart can be damaged by chemo. I was injected with radioactive particles and photographed with a gamma camera by Amy Martin. Like the other tests I’ve had, this one was painless and mostly involved lying still and spending money.

Amy Martin, Nuclear Technician
Amy Martin, Nuclear Technician.

I studied hard for this test
I studied hard for this test

I meet with Dr. Dillon next Friday for a physical in prep for surgery on Monday to put a port in my chest. On Tuesday morning I start the first of six rounds of chemo, each three weeks apart. It takes about 4-6 hours. I just hope they let me up once in a while to go to the bathroom.


Since I don’t have to do anything till next Friday, we’re going to San Diego after all. A partial week is much better than none.


Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. My prognosis is good. I have great medical care and awesome family and friends. Other than not getting cancer in the first place, what more could one ask for? 





3 thoughts on “D-Day

  1. Mike-
    Louise gave me this website and I thought it would be a great place to catch you.
    I really appreciate you brother. You and your family have been a blessing to me. You are one of the smartest men I know.
    When I first went to Ireland with my wife and 9 month old baby girl I spoke to the little church at the Dindingers house.
    You were a part of the fellowship and when I left someone pushed a group of bills into my hand which helped us in our young ministry.
    I also remember when you stayed at our little house in CS and kep the mail truck running the whole night so that it would not freeze up and you could make it to O.M. in Mexico with Kit Payne and ???.
    Those were sweet days.
    Hang in there and someday you and my wife can swap stories about her IV treatments each month for Chronic Lmyphositic Leukemia.
    She is doing great and says “HI” In fact I am going to see her in a few minutes and take her a Coke – she says that helps her to get through.
    Love you brother. All your work for the Lord is in the bank and safe.

    1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
    58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

  2. Mike,

    We were thrilled to hear you were able to go to So. Cal. for a few days! You deserve a vacation!

    Prayers are continuing …


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s