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Just when i thought it was safe to walk on the ice...

jcortney's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: Sep 2012

Just got back from the MedOnc and the results of my 1 yr post treatment CT was less than stellar.  It seems that a ground glass nodule, that has been present in all of my scans, has increased in size by a millimeter since the last scan three months ago.  Now he could not have been more reassuring that it is probably due to me having the flu and may have aspirated but he is concerned enough to order a PET.  From my perspective I agree with him.  The plan is if it comes back a 1-4 we can not worry about it at all.  if it comes back in the 4-6 range we can watch it closely.  Anything hotter and it needs to come out.

So, while I'm a member of the "don't borrow tomorrow's troubles today" club, I can't say I'm not rattled.

Stay safe and hug your family every day.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Hard not to get rattled anytime we have a less than expected scan.

But I'm putting my money on your condition at the time influenced the results, and nothing to be concerned with.

Thoughts & Prayers...



longtermsurvivor's picture
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

That the scans take slices at a set interval, say 1cm.  And they don't align to hit exactly the same spot the next scan you have.  These lesions are shaped like a potato, not  a sphere.  So 1mm change in size, either up or down, is of no meaning whatsoever. The minor change in size generally means they just measured a different diameter of the same potato.   Its fine to get the PET, but really your scan just said "no change."  They followed a lung mass in me for several years.  First it was 2mm, then it was 3mm, then it was 4mm.  But then it was  2mm.  They got disinterested at that  time.


Best to you.



ratface's picture
Posts: 1319
Joined: Aug 2009

(The real smart guy and I posted almost at the same time)

A one millimeter change is impossible to diagnose. Where is the nodule? I have 4 of them in the 4mm range in the lungs, no change in four years. Don't waste too much time on rumination with this finding. Here is the way a very smart person explained it to me. Picture a potatoe shaped like a bowling pin. This is your nodule. On one scan the CT slices thru the fat part of the bowling pin and now all of a sudden we have an increase of 1mm. Your last scan you were positioned a hair different and the machine sliced the pin on the slim neck area. A 1mm change is insignificant for that reason. Your result was more unchanged than anything else!

jcortney's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: Sep 2012

"A ground glass nodule seen within the periphery of the right lower lobe on image 89 has increased in size and density when compared to the prior exam, now measuring 1.6 cm in maximum dimension.  These findings remain indeterminate, and while infectious, inflammatory processes could give this appearance, given the slow interval progression of these findings as well as the enlarging ground glass nodule within the right lower lobe which is also increasing in density, malignancy cannot be excluded.  Consider PET-CT for further evaluation."

I was pretty sure he said it was a 1mm gain, but I wouldn't be shocked if he might have said 5mm.  I wasn't listening that closely at that point.





Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Ahh, the old "malignancy cannot be excluded, consider further evaluation", catch all phrase to cover their butt.....

I believe that I have seen that more than once...

Each time leading to a PET, CT, EUS, Colonoscopy once, ummm and if I think hard I can pretty much think of 2 - 3 more follow-ups from that phrase... "consider this that or the other to further rule out this that or the other.

Of course, what in the hell else are you going to do , other than follow-up...?


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009


I'm glad you finally acknolwedged me as the smart guy......

Oh, hmmm...

Did you mean that Massey Ferguson tractor drving, Trapper John MD Gardner on here...., LOL.


Hope you are both doing well, and hope to see Pat and his wife again down the road, as well as you of course...


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4336
Joined: May 2012


It looks like I am going to side with the brains before me and predict that it is not serious.  Remember  Tim from Idaho, went through something similar and he turned out ok.

I do feel your angsts, I have had a slight sore throat for the past week and what at one time would generate no concern has me wanting to call my ENT.

Be safe my friend,


donfoo's picture
Posts: 1649
Joined: Dec 2012

Hey Joe,

Easy to say not being in your position but 1mm does seem pretty inconclusive. I think it is hard to draw any conclusion from such a small measurement. Live on until the next routine check. Best to you, don

jcortney's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: Sep 2012

He's a great guy (and doc) and has become almost a buddy.  Anyway we texted last night and he basically told me I'd be stupid not to take the PET.  His point I believe was well taken, if it's nothing, great.  If it's something, get it out now while it's curable.  Hard to argue with that logic when it's just a bit more radiation and a copay.

I'm reasonably sure I am aspirating.  I was laying in bed last night having a coughing fit from mucous flowing down my throat from this freakin' flu.  There's almost no way I wasn't taking some of that in. So, to my mind an infection is very likely.

More to come.

jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011

praying for a good outcome and comfort unti you get results


debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

joe, praying that's its nothing and glad you're getting the PET.  try not to worry, i know easier said than done.  let us know the results.

God bless you,


j4mie's picture
Posts: 218
Joined: Sep 2013

I side with the smart ones before me Wink Most likely nothing, but please keep us posted! I'll keep you in my prayers until we hear from you.


hawk711's picture
Posts: 566
Joined: Jan 2010

I always am anxious at any changes in the body, but I don't always trust a guy looking at CT or Xrays, or other exam and giving his opinion on your condition.  Like John says, they all cover their butts by saying better check further.  I have had a couple PET scares and they came out o.k.    I'm with you to go forward, but don't let it rule your life.  As I always says "it ain't a problem till it's a problem".   So enjoy life and each day until it's a real problem.

Best Regards


Duggie88's picture
Posts: 703
Joined: Feb 2010

I'm sure if he thought it was the enemy he would have went with the PET right away. I am banking with John (he has more money than me)



hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Prayers for a clean PET

cureitall66's picture
Posts: 912
Joined: Aug 2012


It's hard not to think the worst because we've been down that road of fear.  I'm betting that this is related to your flu sickness..stay calm and count your blessings for having a proactive doctor. Soon you will be at ease.

Prayers and thoughts for you,


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