Monday, September 21, 2009

99% Great News

I had a series of tests and visits at my cancer center today. It began with a blood draw at 6:30 AM, a chest CT with iodine contrast at 8:00 AM, and ended with an oncology clinic visit at 10:00 AM. I was done at 10:30 AM. The phlebotomist left me with a nice little gift… a black blood mark the size of a half dollar on the inside of arm where it bends at the elbow. It may take months for that to disappear. My chest CT was completely clear. Yahoo. My doctor saw no areas of concern during my physical exam. He looks for lumps and bumps, discoloration, tissue tone, etc. That makes it 23 months with No Evidence of Disease (NED). All of this is great news. I’m not sure who enjoys this more, my doctor or me. Needless to say, we’re both very pleased.

The other 1%. We talked about my continued use of the Tarceva. It’s a daily chemo pill and I’ve been on the maximum dosage of 150 mg for 21 months. Prior to the 23 months with no evidence of disease, I had my original cancer diagnosis and 3 recurrences in a 2 year time frame. He believes what I suspected he believed. The Tarceva is keeping my cancer from recurring. The drug side effects have been tolerable. As such, I will continue this treatment. The scary part here is, when will this drug stop being effective? No one knows. It could be days / weeks or it could be years. I’m so much better off than others, but this 1% is raining on my parade.

Take care everyone.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Upcoming Clinic Visit

I’m scheduled for my first 3 month check up on Monday September 21st. My doctor decided that a CT scan of my chest is warranted. This is based on a note I sent to him regarding what I suspect is a pulled muscle in my left side that has not healed in 2 months. I thought he might start with an x-ray and then, if needed, move to a CT scan. This produces a high degree of anxiety… somewhat out of proportion to the actual pain. Now, only a clean scan will put my anxiety at bay.

June and July were terrific months for me. I was feeling great and saw a lot of friends and family. August and so far into September have not been as kind. Small aches and pains get in the way of enjoyment.

Today is the 9th anniversary of my mom’s death. She died of lung cancer at age 72. This too weighs on my mind.

Take care everyone.