Posts Tagged ‘metastatic cancer’

The plan.

August 13, 2011

ore than a week ago, my wife and I met with my oncologist to come out with a plan for my disappointing PET scan. Still not convinced about the threatening presence of the six nodules in my lungs, he wanted to observe them first.

“The nodules are less than a centimeter. It is difficult to determine if they are cancerous. However, I had consulted with another radiologist and he seems to agree that it is metastatic cancer.” Dr. M said.

I sense his dilemma. He sees me as healthy with no outward sign of lung cancer and yet he cannot dispute the scans. My tumor counts or CEA level are within threshold levels too. He asks about my recent trip to the Philippines if I had cough, fever, and lost weight.

 “I lost weight due to traveler’s diarrhea and had coughs due to my allergies.” I replied. He wants to rule out if it is fungal in nature.

In any case, after thinking it through he suggests the following;

  • Continue with my monthly chemo maintenance this August but remove Avastin from the series. Avastin inhibits the growth of new blood vessel that chokes off blood supply to cancer tumors. I need to be weaned out of Avastin in case I undergo video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), otherwise I can have bleeding complication.
  • For September, skip the chemo maintenance to see if the nodules grow in numbers and size.
  • In October, we do another CT scan of the chest to determine if there are any cancer activity. Should there be cancer activity, we put you on intensive chemo for six-months.

The idea of another six-months of chemo did not exactly go done well with me. I hate this poison. I hate it. I hate it. Its bad enough I had to do it once a month but to take it weekly or every other week for several days is not exactly exciting.  And oh, the side-effects is another one: the vomitting, nausea, chills, diarrhea, constipation, and others. You think after going through this twice for six-months and once a week, I would get use to it. N-O. No.

Did I tell you I hate it.

And yet I would do it again, if needed.  It is all for you. It is for a chance to still be here and enjoy another day, run another marathon, a 5k or a half-marathon.  Yes, I would do it again for the third time.

Tomorrow, I will run the Chicago Rock n Roll Half-marathon and get to see some of my American Cancer Society friends and athletes. For the next three hours I forget I have cancer. It will be another adrenaline rush moment and the plan is to enjoy every painful moment of it. Ha!


Notes:  Surgery is not an option because the nodules are present in both lungs.  You cannot take out both lungs.  Radiation carry a high risk of damaging good tissues since the nodules are small, less than a centimeter in size.  The best option is systemic chemo.

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