Friday, January 25, 2008

Dodging Bullets, One At A Time

The news was relatively good from my surgery last week. Yes, I did have a new cancerous lymph node-----one as large as a walnut-----but there was no trace of cancer in the adjacent lymph nodes which were also removed. In fact, my doctors are now trying to decide whether there's any point in doing follow-up radiation treatments given how localized this new cancer was.

My doctors are now admitting what I've suspected: my cancer is really anomalous (as my surgeon said yesterday in my post-op visit, "your cancer isn't acting like it should"). All three of the tumors I've had removed have grown at an explosive rate------for example, the latest one I had removed didn't show up at all on the CT scan I had in late July of last year-----but have not invaded nearby tissues and organs. In fact, what had previously looked like a clear case of metastatic colorectal cancer may instead be a case of three separate, independent cancers (colorectal, liver, and lymphatic) breaking out within a few months of each other.

My liver tumor also has my doctors stumped. There was no trace of it in the full-body PET scan done in July, 2006 before my first surgery for the colorectal tumor. It then appeared in a September, 2006 CT scan, and was removed with RF ablation treatment in December, 2006. I underwent chemo from February to July, 2007 intended to prevent its recurrence. But in August, 2007 another CT scan showed the liver tumor had returned and was back to its original size (about as big as a golf ball). And since chemotherapy was ended last July, my liver tumor has. . . . . . . done nothing. It hasn't grown, and it has not metastasized to other organs. It's just sitting there, and it's not supposed to be doing that----it's supposed to be growing rapidly. And no one has a clue why it's behaving that way.

I've never been "typical" in my life, so it's no surprise my cancer isn't "typical" either.

Oh well, I've feel like a car that just received its 30,000 mile major service-----I'm good to go for a lot more miles. The open road beckons! We now return you to our scheduled programming. . . . .