Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[cancer] So far, not so good

I don't have my CEA levels yet, but the radiology report from Monday's cancer checkup is not encouraging. I quote:
Questionable developing subcentimeter lateral right lobe hepatic lesion to which close attention on follow up suggested.

In plain English, that means I have a small mass in the right side of my liver. I've been down this road before, and I know exactly where it leads.

Now, this isn't conclusive. It could be atypical healing from my last liver resectioning. (Longtime readers may recall that I've had that surgery twice so far.) It could be something else entirely, like the misread steatosis that led to my first liver resectioning. But given that this cancer has metastasized twice since my primary presentation, one of those times in the liver, I am not especially optimistic. The CEA levels will tell us more — if they are elevated, then there's a strong likelihood this is another metastasis. I rather assume I'll be in for a PET scan quite soon to confirm metabolic activity at the site in question.

On the plus side, this likely isn't the one that will kill me. The site should be readily addressable through surgery, so it's not inoperable. If I have to do chemotherapy again, this will be my last course, because there are only three options for my kind of cancer, and I've already run through two of them. That means if it comes back again in another year, I'm in a much worse position.

And on a serious note to anyone reading who is over 50, or has any lower GI irregularities: get yourself a colonoscopy. It's inconvenient, and some people find it embarrassing, but trust me, years of cancer surgery and chemotherapy are a hell of a lot more inconvenient. Go do it. Please.

As for me, I feel very, very discouraged.

Tags: cancer, health, personal

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