Patrick's appointment with the doctor at John's Hopkins went well last Friday. They had a safe trip and were able to stay with friends on the way home. However, this physician's opinion of appropriate treatment was SO radically different than Dr. Friel's, Patrick and Emily are requesting PRAYERS FOR DISCERNMENT specifically.
The John's Hopkins doctor feels he can remove the tumor in Patrick's lower abdominal cavity without removing either the bladder or the prostate. He does, however, feel that Patrick will need rounds of IV chemotherapy post-op. This is wonderful news in many ways. However, it also poses a lot of new questions like: why do the two docs have SUCH different opinions? and will this approach invite the cancer to return? Obviously, Patrick does NOT want to lose this prostate and bladder; however, he and Emily must also carefully consider which approach will be the BEST option to keep Patrick disease free in the future. Dr. Friel believes the tissue surrounding the tumor (hence, the bladder and prostate) needs to be removed to be sure he gets "clear margins" and leaves behind no cancer cells with the potential to grow and spread. Yet again, Patrick's quality of life remains a huge consideration for the Shaws.
At present, the Shaws await another telephone conference with the John's Hopkins doctor once he consults with a urologist over Patrick's MRI results. Then, they wish to again discuss surgical approaches with Dr. Friel as he is more familiar with Patrick's entire journey and is closer to the Shaw's home.
Please pray for wisdom on the part of both physicians and DISCERNMENT for Patrick and Emily. Also, please pray the God will provide the Shaws with support people (meals, finances, errand-running) when the time of either surgery arrives as they are currently transitioning into new jobs and a new hometown.