Spoke to my cancer doc. He tells me that the PET report shows lymph nodes clear. Right now we're running with the assumption of no lymphatic involvement. That's huge for me, both emotionally and medically, as it removes the biggest, darkest black hole of fear, pain and mortality from this equation. I still have questions about how the cancer got from the colon to liver, and what that implies for the lymph, but we're not looking at immediate risks there. A big bullet dodged.
On the liver, he wants to proceed with some support from a liver cancer specialist and the tumor board at the hospital. Next steps are probably MRI and biopsy. He characterizes the PET report as "anomalies" rather than "tumors" at this point, but that's not so much optimism as precision about the lack of full information. I'll go in sometime next week when I'm back from my travels for a consult, and possibly the MRI.
On the polyp and the possible recurrence of colon cancer, the path report came back today. Polyp was benign but definitely pre-cancerous. We'll be discussing my colonoscopy schedule at the consult, and the long-term implications of this. While upsetting in their own right, that's another bullet dodged for right now.
So I'm down from three possible cancers to one. The liver cancer is curable, manageable, addressable; and I'll only be fighting one damned thing at time. The colon stuff may become a lifetime rearguard action, but it won't accelerate my mortality much so long as I'm extremely diligent. And the lymphatic involvement, well, it's off the table.
Amazing what can count as good news, isn't it? It's a weird life I have when the prospect of liver surgery is an upgrade and cause for optimism, but that's true.
|Originally published at jlake.com.|