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CT Scan Results - Hopeful News

califsue
Posts: 80
Joined: Oct 2007

I haven't posted in awhile as I've been waiting for my three month scan results since I began Folfiri and Avastin. My oncologist and my VATS surgeon both told me that chemo wouldn't work on my lung mets. They wanted me to radiate my lungs. My second opinion, Dr. Lenz at Norris USC Cancer Center, said that it would work and to definitely NOT continue with radiation. Some of you may remember that I also developed a rare complication after VATS, a subcutaneous tumor grew at the VATS incision site on my back. The recommendation at the time was to watch the subcu mass and measure it to see if it shrinks with the chemo (kind of an outside barometer).

Well, the good news is that after 3 months of chemo, my right hilar nodes have reduced in size from 1.3 x 1.2 cm to 8 x 8 mm and my subcarinal lymph nodes have "slightly improved". The 3 mm nodular density now appears more faint and "fuzzy", although somewhat larger at 5mm. I requested that my radiation oncologist look at the scan and he said that yes, it is most likely radiation necrosis due to the one stereotatic radiation treatment that I had before I got my second opinion. A physician friend has been measuring the subcutaneous mass on my back and it has reduced in size from 2 x 1.5 cm to 9 x 7 mm. The radiologist reading the scans however, said that there was "no change" in the subcutaneous lesion. Both my oncologist and I know differently. When I asked my oncologist to clarify this discrepancy with the radiologist, he said that we know that the tumor has reduced in size and left it at that. I'm not sure if I'm going to pursue it or not. At this point, I'm going to focus on the big picture - the chemo is working!

Since I had all of the differing opinions going into chemo, I now feel much more hopeful that this chemo will take me even closer to NED.

I hope that my experience will help others with lung mets that are trying to make those difficult decisions.

Take good care,
Susan

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi, Susan

SO glad you discontinued the radiation to your lungs - that's scary stuff.

They wanted to do that to me and I told them N-O. I had radiation on the lower half of my body and knew the collateral damage that I suffered there, so I told them we're not going to do radiation to my lung - I worried about the radiation hitting near the heart and frying those arteries out and causing mitral valve leaks and such, plus the scar tissue build up, I just said no thank you - and then I got a 2nd opinion.

I talk to a thorasic surgeon next week to go over VATS or a thoractomy to get 2 spots off the pleura of my lung...they think that it is operable.

Your case certainly sounds promising, and am so glad to hear that there is no radiation in your future...that made me feel good...best of luck and I would like to hear from you on how things go for you.

Take care
-Craig

califsue
Posts: 80
Joined: Oct 2007

Craig,

Thank you for your words of encouragement. I agree with you about radiation. I've had two rounds of it to my rectal area when I was stage III and it is scarey stuff.

Hopefully, another 6 treatments of Folfiri and Avastin will take care of the hilar lymph node and the subcarinal lymph node for good. I'm having a harder time with each treatment. I hate putting these chemicals in my body. I have changed my diet considerably and plan to start juicing. I just don't have the taste for it when I'm on chemo.

Good luck with your decision about VATS vs a thoracotomy.

Best to you,
Susan

eric38's picture
eric38
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

I don`t know why they told you that the chemo wouldn`t work on your liver mets. I had 4 liver mets and my 3 month scan showed that my liver mets were gone and that was from straight chemo. I still have some residual stuff going on but no tumors. Who knows what will happen in the long term but it is working for now. I hope you situation continues to get better and you have many more years of health and well being.

Eric ( : . )

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

Eric is right, I have chemo also that has been shrinking my liver mets as well, I don't know why they would say that to you either! I think I'd be looking for another opinion!

Hugsss!
~Donna

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

It was lung mets that were to be irradiated, not liver mets.

It's great that the chemo is working. My take on the radiation is that the best thing about not doing it now is that you might have it in reserve for later, in case chemo is not sufficient. Whether or not you buy this, you might mention to your radiation oncologist the possibility of further radiation treatments in the future, if for no other reason, to stay on his good side.

--Greg

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

Should have read that more carefully, sorry for the confusion!

Hugsss!
~Donna

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eric38's picture
eric38
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

I`m sorry. I misread the post too. I think Donna just followed my lead. I not toopid - I peshial.

Eric

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

....Yes, I did follow yours, I peshial roo!

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