Dr. Ferguson called this evening to give me what he termed a “pre-final” diagnosis. I think the pathologist still has the last word, but he was pretty confident in telling me what he did tonight. So, the almost-verdict:
a small-cell carcinoma of the lung.
He went on the reiterate that he will set up a meeting Tuesday afternoon to go over everything and discuss a treatment plan. I told him I was eager to get started and he seemed pleased (in his flat-liner kind of way) with that. It occurs to me it’ll be my job to inspire confidence in him as much as it will be his to do so for me. I can imagine that these docs have to deal with many patients who just collapse under the weight of what they are being told. Then the docs have to sort of keep them going as best they can. I initially braced myself when I answered the phone but I found that afterward, I felt a surprising amount of relief. I think this must be due to coming out of the speculative, subjunctive, uncertain world of guesses and likelihoods, and into the realm of certainty. Being able to put a name to it seems to have robbed it of some of its power.
Next stop: picking out a nice round of horrible drugs to kill it with.