Saturday, May 4, 2013

A doctor's appointment

As you probably gathered from Brittney's last post, it recently appeared that my cancer had returned.  (More details about that experience in an old post).  We have had some recent developments here in Edmonton.  So here is an update on that. 

About two weeks ago, I had a biopsy performed on my neck/shoulder. Then last wednesday we had a CT scan done which was scheduled to let us know the state of things prior to chemo, so that they can be able to tell exactly how much chemo reduces the size of things.

Yesterday we met with our doctor. We went into the appointment thinking that we would probably start chemo on Monday, and actually excited about that, since it means that we still can get everything done before going to Mississippi. The doctor had some interesting and confusing news for us. It seems that the pathologists were unable to locate any cancer cells from the biopsy and so are unable to confirm that the cancer has returned. Apparently many/all of the pathologists looked it over and agreed.

The results of the CT scan were equally uninformative. It showed minimal to no growth of from the last scan in February. It confirmed that the biopsy had removed all of the node that had shown up on the PET scan. This is good news, we know things aren't growing dangerously, but things are also still larger than normal. So basically, they aren't sure what is going on. It could be cancer that just is proving hard to diagnose definitively, or it could be something else (infection or inflammation from something) that shows up on a PET scan.

So, our doctor talked things through with us and basically ended up with two future plans. She doesn't have enough evidence of cancer to start chemo, where either a diagnosis from the biopsy, or significant growth on the CT-scan would have been enough to show that something was going on and start chemo. She is going to refer us to some surgeons who might be able to do a biopsy on the spots in my chest. Other than that, which we hope to hear about in the next little bit, the plan is to do another CT scan in two more months to see if anything has changed.

So, we are kind of unsure exactly how to feel. On the one hand, I don't have to do chemo in the immediate future, which will be nice. And it could be that the cancer hasn't returned, which would be wonderful. On the other hand, if it is cancer, now it is looking less and less like we will be able to treat it before we move. But on the other other hand, we know that even if it is, it isn't currently growing dangerously enough to reveal itself. So, we wait and see. And we get to live normally for the next little while, at least. I am feeling good (besides the healing biopsy site), and we will appreciate more normality this summer while it lasts. 


Nicole Smith said...

Sending prayers and hugs! Fingers crossed that everything works out in your favor. Love you guys!

merilee said...

You have been in my thoughts and prayers so much! I hope everything works out and that you can continue with the plans you have had. Much love to you all!

Michelle said...

Oh goodness. I am so sorry. Hopefully this confusion turns out to be good news. We are thinking and praying for you.

MandaMommy said...

Oh, wow! I hope I hope I hope! Thanks for keeping us updated. And at the very least, I'm glad you get to enjoy your summer!

Barb: said...

It sounds like pretty good news--I hope that keeps coming your way. You're in our prayers. And congrats on the new job!

Amy said...

We love you, Chris and Brittney! We're thinking of you.