Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hoping for negative margins and high kill ratio

The clock is ticking and I am now only 12 hours from surgery, which is scheduled for 8:30 Wednesday morning. Though I am confident the surgery itself will go well, I just hope that the pathology for what they remove all looks good.

When the surgeon removes the tumor, they remove a little extra tissue surrounding the tumor as well, which they call the "margin". The margin is then tested for any signs of cancer and the hope, of course, is that these tests are all negative. A positive test here would indicate not only that the margin contains cancer, but also that my leg still contains some cancer. Bottom line -- we want to see negative margins here.

The tumor itself will then go though testing where the Pathologist will determine the "kill ratio" of the cancer cells. Obviously the chemo and the radiation killed some or all of the cancer cells, but we just don't know how much at this time. Though I don't know what a good kill ratio is (90%?), the more dead cancer cells they find (or the fewer living cancer cells they find) the better! So, please pray for a high kill ratio.

Should the margins end up being positive or the kill ratio be lower than expected, chances are good that I'll be asked to go though more chemotherapy. I for one would like to avoid that.

I should know more about the pathology either late this week or early next week.


Annmarie Keogh said...

God Bless you David! We are praying that all will go well for you!

Vance said...

I can't say I've ever prayed for a high kill ratio before...but I'll do it for you.

Misty said...

Thank you, Dave, for explaining this all...and being specific!! We absolutely will pray for these things and more!! God bless you and Holly!