It is now over one month since I completed my radiation and concurrent chemotherapy. I have recovered from the side effects of treatment. I am completely off of narcotics. My follow up CAT scan shows moderate and significant further shrinkage of the tumor. At initial diagnosis the tumor measured 12 centimeters. After surgery it was 8 centimeters. Now after chemo and radiation it measures 6 centimeters. As a medical oncologist with knowledge and expertise in this type of tumor, I am pleased with the response, and my present clinical condition. I realize that I probably still have residual cancer in my chest which in all likelihood will, at some future time, grow and spread and cause problems. There is also a very small possibility that the residual mass seen on imaging is just scar tissue or necrotic dead tissue and may not grow back.
Now my wife Elizabeth, who is very spiritual and a strong believer, was praying for a complete miraculous healing. She wanted to see a complete disappearance of the tumor on the CAT scan so we could know it was an obvious miracle. She is grateful for what we got but also disappointed and not satisfied. She wants to grow old with me which means I have to live at least another 15-20 years. Elizabeth is not going to let God off the hook. She will continue to ask God for a complete healing for me in this life.
So, the Hirsh family is happy and sad, grateful and disappointed, still trusting in God, praying for miracles and accepting His will.