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Results not so great

impactzone's picture
impactzone
Posts: 539
Joined: Aug 2006

Well I talked to onc at Stanford about my last CT scan (Stage 4 9/06, liver and lung surgery for mets and chemo) I have been clear for the last year. This last one showed a 8mm lesion near the margin of the last lung resection. It is not great news but not terrible either. I just feel disappointed and down.

I teach and took my freshman son home from the high school I work at, told him and he just cried. It really hurt me. I understand the logic and reasons but I just felt like a failure. Tomorrow the school is giving out at its award ceremony to student the CHIP (Celebrating Highly Inspiring People) Award named after me but I just am really down. I know I'll bounce up and others have it worse but there it is.

The onc wants to wait 2 months, do a scan and then decide what to do. He talked with the thoracic surgeon today about this spot. I am going to talk to the thoracic surgeon who did my first surgery (also at Stanford)next week and get his advise.

I understand the reasons behind waiting (not sure what it is, can't do biopsy, too small for accurate PET scan) but damn it... I want it out! If surgeon offer the possibility of laproscopic removal of the area...I just might go for it.

I know that waiting might be a good idea to see if anything else shows up but it really hurts to wait.

Thanks all
Chip

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Chip,

I am so sorry about your CT scan report. I understand your disappointment.

Please know that you are not a failure but an inspiration to many, including those of us on this board. And to have an award named in your honor says it all.

I think it's great that you are going to be proactive and speak to the thoracic surgeon yourself. Just remember...you are your best advocate.

Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs,

Kay

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

Awww, I could just hug you, how proud to be to have an honor coming your way, sure you have a bad scan with a stupid lesion, that's just another hurdle to jump is all, there's going to be bumps and potholes in our journey, and of course, like us, you're going to fight it all the way, just don't be too down, and look ahead at what you have, be positive, you will get through this, and your son is super proud of this day for you as well, just remember you are a fighter, and not let this get you down, God is with you every step of the way, he will see you through this, please go and celebrate your honor, and forget about that pesky beast for now while you go have fun, I know it's hard, but you can't let this get in your way of enjoying life..there is so much more to live for :)

Hugss to you!
~Donna

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Chip,
You have to remember that there will be good things come out of this. I know that it is you and not me under the gun but you are a valuable asset to yourself and to your son. You have been honest and Im sure a great father to him and it shows in the way you share everything with him. He will eventually learn to appreciate sincerity. You are a special advocate to this disease and by doing the things you do it will save lives. People listen when it hits home and cancer hits almost everyone in some form or fashion by some relative or friend. It is truly remarkable of you to be as great an advocate as you are. You can do your speech and let them know that you have had a reoccurence and that you will be fine after this one also. I understand what let down feels like but we know that going in we are all subject to it. It is a shame that anyone has to redo what they have already done to get by but such is the working of this disease.
You my friend are a great humanitarian to do what you do and to speak out as you do. Please don't be down, Hold your head up even in a storm for all will be watching when you tell them your story, you will be talking to give others hope and they will be listening to every word. Your son must be very proud of you for what you are doing. I know you will do everything that needs to be done in order to get through this and we will be behind you for solace and comfort. We all have to remember that we are spokespeople to the crowds, we are comforters of the sick and stricken, we are also warriors for ourselves and others, and when I am feeling down I have to say to myself, it could be my child, my son or my daughter instead of me...Then its ok. I immediately feel better and move on.....there is always a bright side to every storm, sometimes its just the way you look at it.....God Bless you Sir and good luck in your journey.....

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Hey, Chip ~

So sorry to read your tough news...treading back towards the impact zone perhaps, but just know, whatever happens, your friends here are with you.

And please, Chip, you are NOT a failure! Like many of us, you are dealing with the ups and downs of living with cancer and with that comes a license to feel how you feel...I'm sure bummed is an understatement.

As for your son, I understand how you and he are feeling too. I remember when my mom told me about her fourth cancer and how upsetting it was. After her biopsy for that fourth cancer (stage IV mediastinum) and her doctor said it was bad I went home and sobbed like I never had before. And then when I was diagnosed, mom cried for me. I suppose that kind of deep, raw emotion is part of the deal when we choose to love someone so much...mothers and daughters - fathers and sons - family. When one hurts, so does the other. I pray for that love between you and your kids and the rest of your family, and your entire network of friends too, will serve to carry you through this next part of your cancer battle.

I think your plan to follow through directly with your surgeon is a good plan - I always admired that proactive approach you took the first time around. Like Kay says, you are your own best advocate.

So Braddah, we'll be sending you good vibes, lots of prayers, well wishes and blessings for strength, healing and comfort. Keep us posted and let us know how we can help.

Katie

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Check this out...when I was dealing with my stomach cancer misdiagnosis last summer I watched this to pick up my spirits (and I usually give it a spin before my EGDs every three months to help settle my worries - I have another EGD in a couple of weeks). This is certainly a favorite when I'm blue. It always makes me smile and even bee-bop a bit...it's a hoot. Enjoy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho1yJwvWCrw

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

I totally understand your desire to GET IT OUT NOW. I would feel the same. Good luck on your talk with the surgeon!

I so understand your hurt over having to tell your son. I remember the way my son's face crumpled when I told him about my cancer. It just makes your heart hurt, doesn't it? *hugs*

I'm so sorry you didn't get another "all clear" this time, but I do pray that this situation can be taken care of quickly and well.

You're so NOT a failure. You didn't cause this! As evidenced by the award named after you, you're an inspiration to many. Please know that you're in our prayers, and we'll be here to help you in any way you need.

*hugs*
Gail

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Please don't think of yourself as a failure. I know, logically, you know better. Emotions are not logical. You are allowed to *feel* however you feel, but you can control your thoughts to some degree. Your son needs you to control your thoughts right now, as much as possible.

I'm impressed that so soon after such bad news you are being incredibly proactive. Keep looking until you find a doc with the answer you can live with. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this, and I'm especially sorry your son is also. I got the news of my stage IV dx (originally dx stage III) with my 16yr old son in the car with me. It is so hard on them, but how we handle it makes a difference in how they are able to handle it.

Hugs,

Kimby

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Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Chip,
I'm so sorry to hear this news. We also know what it is like when our kids our heart broken. It hurts so much to see them crushed. The thing is you will bounce back and so will your family. The tears are a necessary part. I will pray for you when you receive the CHIP award tomorrow. You are obvioulsy a very deserving person.
Aloha,
Kathleen

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Chip,

I feel your pain with you, as I had to experience my own recurrence this past August, which was a year after my initial diagnosis (just 3 months after my liver surgery). It was much easier for me to be braver with my kids when I responded so well to the chemo the first time around, and especially after my rectal tumor disappeared following radiation. Then I had the recurrence and was doing all the "why me, what happened here", etc. questions myself, so it was hard to tell my kids and so many others. I feel your pain.

You will get through this. You are strong, but I know sometimes it's really hard to feel that way all the time, isn't it? Lean on God and lean on your loved ones around you who want to help you. It's okay to let them see that you're not always strong. But, I think that you may have down times- which is certainly normal and okay, definitely not a "failure"- but you'll come back, I just know it! Keep pursuing and keep questioning doctors when you don't feel satisfied with the answers (or the non-answers).

Take care and press on- it's what we do (by the way, I'm a teacher too- but haven't been in the classroom for a year and a half now).

Lisa

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

How could you be a failure? Look at how many of us that you have encouraged and supported. And how honestly and openly you deal with your son. I wouldn't call that failing. I am sorry that you have this new challenge in front of you, but you can do this. Grab onto Buzzard's rope...we are all pulling for you on the other end.

Many hugs and prayers. Vicki

dorookie
Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

You in no way a failure, that word should never enter your mind much less come out of your mouth. You have done so much for so many people, and we do thank you. We all appreciate your post, and your support that you giving so willingly. Hang in there, your not alone, we are all with you and here if you need us. God Bless you CHIP

Beth

sheri22
Posts: 278
Joined: Jan 2009

Chip
I hope everything turns out well for you a year NED is a good thing . The waiting
game is the worse you already know you are not a failure you are an inspiration to a lot of us. I do have a way I deal with the waiting and now with my cancer, when I was waiting for results the rule was it DID NOT EXIST until I knew for sure, it did help me and my family
I also have a 16 yr old son. The other rule I have for myself is now that I get chemo every other week it DOES NOT EXIST except for chemo days and when I feel crappy for a couple of days after. You will beat this hope this helps some

your in my prayers Sheri22

dixchi's picture
dixchi
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

you know, maybe the timing of your medical news and the award is a blessing
in disguise; you have the honor to lift yourself up in a dark time of not
so good news and that is wonderful timing......use it for all it is worth,
take your energy from the awards ceremony and know that you have made
major contributions to those around you......and have a reason to continue
the battle.

Hugs,
Barbara

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Chip,

I'm so sorry about the scan. I totally get it. 4 months after I finished chemo for the colon cancer, I was dx'd with endometrial cancer. I wanted to curl up on the floor & disappear, I felt so deflated. Life was just getting back to the "new normal" when that happened, and the prospect of more surgery & treatment was just too much.

But then I did what you're going to do. You're going to look at your life and all the contributions you make and how many people would miss you if you were gone and decide to do what you have to. You are a remarkable, unique individual, and we need you with us.

Hugs and prayers,
Kirsten

ldot123's picture
ldot123
Posts: 276
Joined: Apr 2008

I totally understand how you feel. When I got colon cancer, it was the second time I had to deal with the big C. First time was Hodgkins 20 years ago. You initially feel like you are letting down your family. You are not! You are doing all of the right things in being proactive. Yes it is a drag to have to deal with this again but somehow I know you will be victorius in your fight. Lance

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6549
Joined: Feb 2009

Sorry you didn't get the news you were looking for. Hopefully when you have scans in 2 months they will look better.

What an honor to have an award named after you. This must make you very proud. It sounds like you have a very wonderful, loving and giving son. Sounds like you are a very exceptional person and father.

God Bless
Kim

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Chip, I am so sorry about this news. For me, news of a recurrence has been harder to cope with than the original diagnosis news of cancer. And the worse thing I have had to face in my life has been telling my children (diagnosis and recurrences). It is heartbreaking. Of course it is normal to feel down. Allow yourself to. You will get back on that horse, but there is time. Pardon me talking about myself at a time like this but I just want to share that I have had three lung mets now (separated by 1.5 - 2 years each time). Psychologically very difficult. But I am doing great now. Yes, I have the Sword of Damocles hanging over my head. But, I am leading a good life now, wallowing in the love of my kids. I am on maintenance chemo now, and trying to regard this as a chronic health condition. I certainly hope and pray no-one has repeated recurrences like mine! But, it's OK. I am thinking of you doing this very difficult time. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family.

Love,
Tara

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Chip, Chip, Chip... failure? No matter what the news or what hurdles and bumps we have to go over, under and through... when we bump into a wall, this is not "failure" speaking... this is, "Sh*t! I just bumped into a wall and bounced off!" :)

But, you came to the right place to talk and figure things out. Everyone here knows exactly what you mean, even if "failure" isn't quite the right word to describe it. "Let-down"? "disappointment?" "fear?" "anger?" or a combination of all four.

It's the old, "Here we go again" that is so frustrating. Whether it's surgery, chemo, radiation or some other new fandangled treatment... the fact you even have to think of going through another one.

I do hear where you are coming from though. The lung lesion I had ablated from my lung last month was 19mm. The radiologist who did the procedure was not really sure what the benefit would be of ablating it when I have these other tiny ones (under 5 mm). I told him the benefit would be that I don't want this 19mm lesion on my lung and if it were to come out, then that would be a huge benefit to me.

Sometimes I really think the doctors are on totally different pages than we are.

I think, part of the reason they want to do a "wait and see" approach is that they want to see how fast the lesion is growing... to determine what would be the best treatment. Would another surgery be beneficial or would having chemo and seeing if the chemo would shrink it down to nothing? The thing is, if the lesion is too small, then it will be resistant to chemo. If you haven another lung surgery, that is pretty invasive for something that is considered very small right now. Hence, the wait and see approach... so that they can pick the best treatment that is going to be the least invasive and hard on you. I'm not sure where you live, but you might also want to discuss with your oncologist if having an RFA procedure (the ablation) is an option for where you live. This was such an incredibly easy procedure with literally no side affects... and you were back to normal as soon as the anesthetic wore off. I can't say enough about this procedure! But unfortunately, there are only a few radiologists who do it, so it's a matter of if there is someone close by who can do it.

Anywho... hang in there. There will be options to choose from once they know what it is exactly that they are dealing with.

Huggggggs,

Cheryl

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Oh, Chip. I know it's horrible to have to wait, and it's bound to hurt so much right now to think it's all gone wrong. Hang in there. You are definitely an inspiration! I felt so much for you when you wrote about telling your son. I can still remember how my son's face crumpled when I told him I had oolon cancer. Rough times!

Please keep us updated and know that we are all praying for you.

*hugs*
Gail

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