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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-02-23 05:39
Subject: [cancer] Update from the oncologists on the new liver lesion
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, personal
Yesterday I saw both my medical oncologist and my surgical oncologist/liver specialist. They were fairly positive about my current situation. The general takeaway is that this new lesion in my liver is a very small spot. Neither of them is especially concerned right now, unless we see growth at the next scan.

My surgical oncologist opined that if it does turn out to be a tumor, it may be a leftover second site from my last round of liver metastasis. Their thinking is that if we do have to treat, we may do surgery (or radiofrequency ablation) without chemo. That's certainly not the prescription at this point, but it's a direction.

Whatever this is, even worst case it's not a mortality event, just another step on the road.

My follow up is in mid-April, with a CT scan and bloodwork followed by consultations with both oncologists again.

Objectively, this is encouraging. Both doctors emphasized the low CEAs as a good data point. I am not so sanguine about this, given my historically idiosyncratic CEA levels. They were apparently quite sincere in their positive outlooks.

Subjectively, I continue discouraged, though the idea that if need be we may be able to treat without another round of chemo at this point is a bright spot.

On the emotional front, this is still pretty daunting. I can't shake the feeling I'm dealing with a relentless foe. I've been so busy that I haven't had time to sit down and really process this one emotionally — the expected meltdown still has not taken place. We shall see. For now, I get two more months to live my life.

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Michael Curry
User: mcurry
Date: 2012-02-23 13:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm glad at least the doctors were objectively encouraging, even if emotionally it's still feeling daunting.

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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2012-02-23 13:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thinking of you.
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User: radiantlisa
Date: 2012-02-23 14:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2012-02-23 14:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Cancer is generally more and more aggressive as it recurs, not less. If this were a third recurrence, I would expect a rapidly growing lesion with higher CEA levels than before, not a tinier lesion with stealth CEA. I'm not a doctor, of course, but it's probably best just to listen to the experts and try not to over think it. Hugs.
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User: adelheid_p
Date: 2012-02-23 14:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have a friend who had thyroid cancer in her late teens (most likely from living in Love Canal). She's been free of it for 23 years now. But, even now, every little thing looks like cancer to her and this includes illnesses in her pets. This might be extreme (she is a little OCD and admits it), but I can completely understand this reaction.
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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2012-02-23 14:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Nobody is saying Jay's reaction is not understandable, although it sounds like your friend is having trouble moving on.
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User: autopope
Date: 2012-02-23 15:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Best of luck ...
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Blair MacGregor
User: blairmacg
Date: 2012-02-23 16:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I remember well the ups and downs of tests and results and interpretations. I've spoken with very few patients and family members who take a doctor's positive outlook as wholly encouraging. We always wait for the, "Yes, but..."

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Greg van Eekhout
User: gregvaneekhout
Date: 2012-02-23 16:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for the update, Jay. Hugs.
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User: kellymccullough
Date: 2012-02-23 17:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Glad to hear that your doctors are optimistic. It's better than the alternative, though it's understandable that you can't share that optimism at the moment and you have my sympathies.
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User: daveraines
Date: 2012-02-24 05:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's kind of like Irish Stand-down. It's good to see you're still on your feet.
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User: swan_tower
Date: 2012-02-26 01:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I know it still isn't precisely good news -- but I am very glad it's encouraging, and will keep my fingers crossed for the best.
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