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mp327
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I had my date with the CT machine last Thursday afternoon and, other than a little bit of contrast seeping out of the IV, it was uneventful.  I had notified my friend, Dr. Mac, a radiologist where I had the scan, that I was being scanned and asked if it would be possible to get results prior to my appointment with my med onc on the 10th..  As is typical with Dr. Mac, he got the results later that day and when he called, I was highly anticipating an "all clear."  Instead, he asked if he could come over and sit out on our deck and "chat."  I could tell from the tone of his voice that perhaps there was something rotten in Denmark.  He told me he did not want to have any discussion about this scan over the phone, so over he came.  There were a couple of little blips to talk about.

The first was the fact that two pelvic (obturator) lymph nodes were swollen, one increasing in size from the previous study in June 2013 and one that appears to be new.  According to Dr. Mac, they are very small.  Now that I have the report in hand, the previously noted one on the right has increased in size from 1.2 x 0.5 cm to 1.7 x 0.7 cm.  The new one on the left measures 1.1 x 0.9 cm.  It is stated that they are difficult to visualize, due to lack of intra-abdominal fat, and metastatic disease cannot be completely excluded.  PET/CT for correlation is recommended.  Nowhere in the pelvic portion of the report is any mention of my nether regions (anus, rectum, etc.), so I guess we are to ASSume that all is well there.

The other blip is on the liver and is described as a "vague area of low-attenuation adjacent to the gallbladder fossa, which measures 1.4 x 2.5 cm, which is more apparent on today's study."  Now that wording, to me, sounds like this was seen on the previous study and has changed slightly from 1 x 2.1 cm one year ago.  All other organs in the abdomen are unremarkable and there was no evidence of any bowel obstruction.

Dr. Mac had already spoken with my med onc before he came over and they both agreed that a PET/CT was the next order of business.  When I saw my med onc yesterday, he was his usual laid-back self and didn't get too excited over any of these findings, but told me that we do need further evaluation to rule out anything sinister.  So, I now wait for the hospital to get approval from my insurance company for a PET/CT and call me to set the appointment.

I told my med onc that I hoped my insurance company would authorize this scan and he assured me they will, that he will see to it.  I won't go into detail, but he explained that he's not afraid to duke it out with insurance companies.  I don't think he'll go Mafia on them (lol!), but he promised me we'll get it done.

So there you have it.  Yes, there are lots of big words on this report, ones that I have not had time to yet look up.  But I am going with my oncologist's positive outlook on all of this.  He is an amazing man and we will get answers--hopefully, ones that will allow us to put this to rest.  I know I am in very good hands between him and Dr. Mac. 

I was ready to go to the mat with my oncologist and say "NO!" to further scans.  Well, that wrestling match has been put on hold and I must trust his judgment.  So once again, the "to scan or not to scan" debate comes up.  There seems to be no easy answers.

The only conclusion I can make at this point, based on this narrative report, is that all those abdominal crunches I've been doing over the years have paid off--a lack of intra-abdominal fat, a girl's dream come true.  :)  And one more thing, cancer truly does suck--for all of us, it just plain sucks.  That said, I hope everyone is hanging in there and having the best day possible.  Love and hugs to you all.  I will keep everyone posted.

Martha    

 

eihtak
Posts: 1255
Joined: Oct 2011

I have often felt envious of your friend Dr. Mac, you are fortunate to have him. That scan or not to issue will always be, so I agree with trusting your doctors judgement and get an answer as to the nature of these so called "blips."

Martha, you have always been nothing less than encouraging and supportive of everyone here. As you play the game of wait and see, we are all here with you and you are surely in my thoughts and prayers that you quickly get the all clear results we hope for.

Your lack of intra-abdominal fat is very impressive! That probably was the case for me a few years prior to all this but be it age, medication, or ice-cream related, my intra-and exterior abdominal fat is slowly creaping up. I am now once again inspired to get rid of it! 

Be well, and busy your mind with healthy activities as you face this seemingly never-ending challenge!

katheryn

 

Phoebesnow
Posts: 563
Joined: Apr 2011

I'm praying for you Martha.

 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so much for your encouraging words, support and prayers!

nicotianna
Posts: 209
Joined: Oct 2013

Wishing you negative findings on your PET/CT!   My thoughts are w/you.

Nicotianna

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so very much!

jcruz
Posts: 379
Joined: Jan 2013

I'll be thinking of you and hoping for the best.

Janet

mp327's picture
mp327
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Joined: Jan 2010

I appreciate the good thoughts so much, Janet!  Thank you!

z's picture
z
Posts: 1405
Joined: May 2009

Hello Martha, I hope the lymph nodes are just doing their job in protecting you from any little bacteria in your body and thats causing them to swell.  I know that we always think of cancer first.  As far as the liver I hope thats just a benign part of aging whereas, we get bumps on the outside why not on the inside.  You have great drs and if theres anything wrong they will take care of it immediately.  I have been very fortunate too wih my drs who were referred to me by my aunt who worked at the hosptial and was privy to the best drs to see.  I wish you well and  I hope your test comes quickly, the waiting is the hardest part for me.  Lori

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RoseC
Posts: 558
Joined: Jun 2011

I'm sorry you're going through this scare, Martha. I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

TraceyUSA
Posts: 316
Joined: May 2013

This is not what I expected to see when I logged in today as I'm sure it was NOT what you expected to hear!  I pray that it is not the C word and that it is your body doing what it's supposed to for some infection or virus as Lori said.

Stay positive and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers!

 

judyv3
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2013

Martha, I feel blessed to have come across someone like you to help me through this journey.  I hope we can be a source of support and reassurance for you during this scary time.  Know that I (and many others) are thinking of you and sending you prayers and good thoughts.

That said, I have an appointment with the colorectal surgeon tomorrow for a check.  I had my second iron treatment today.

The roller coaster just doesn't end.

My best to you.

Judy

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mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so very much for the words of encouragement.  I'm sure y'all are right and that it's going to turn out to be something benign.  Waiting really does suck though!

Judy, I wish you all the best with your appointment tomorrow and I hope you get the all clear.

Thanks everyone!

cap630
Posts: 151
Joined: Jul 2011

You may recall that my husband is a three time cancer survivor. From time to time his lymph nodes have appeared enlarged on scans and after much concern they were only doing their job. Praying for you.  ~Carol

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

That is very reassuring information.  Thank you so much!

qv62
Posts: 435
Joined: Nov 2012

Martha I am sending you a fireball of positive energy for good results after the next phase of your tests, I am sure you are rattled but know we are all in sync for good things to come your way and the force is in numbers, the numbers you have encouraged are surely countless so know there are lots of good vibes coming your way, Please keep us posted xo

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AZANNIE
Posts: 443
Joined: Mar 2011

Yes, cancer does suck!  Hope you don't have to wait long for the PET/CT scan. Sending positive thoughts your way and hoping for the best for you!

 

Ann

 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank so much for the encouragement and support!  I am still waiting for the call to schedule the PET scan--I'm hoping I can get it scheduled for next week.  I'll be sure to keep everyone posted.  Thanks again.

AZedj
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2013

Thank you so much for sharing your news with us. I have learned so much from you and Im sure you don't even know that. I pray that you will be strong and the results will be nothing but good news. No matter what you are loved and will find support right here!

Claudia

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you for your kind words--I appreciate them so very much, along with the prayers.  I am hoping for good news.  My oncologist made me feel much more at ease about all of this on Tuesday.  I posted about this because I think everyone on this board needs to know that our own vigilance and that of our doctors is of utmost importance in maintaining our NED status.  I know that should I find out NED is no longer in my life, everyone on this site still is and that is a very, very good feeling!  Thank you again!

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knolltop
Posts: 57
Joined: Apr 2010

Martha,

I am so sorry.    I know you were not expecting this news on your report.   As we all know waiting isn't fun....our mind can go in so many directions.   Hoping it is some type of inflammation.    I have different spots on my liver but they are not ones to be concerned with....hoping the same with yours.  Wishing the insurance approval is quick in letting you know when you can go for your PET Scan.     You know you are in my daily prayers.  

Tory

 

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mp327
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Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so much for your encouraging words.  I know that whatever this is on my liver could turn out to be totally benign.  I'm just glad my doctor is pursuing more answers and not just brushing it off as nothing.  You are right--waiting is absolutely the worst!  Thank you so much for the prayers--I appreciate that so much!

Krissy59
Posts: 33
Joined: Oct 2013

Martha,

I was completely taken by surprise when I read your post. I just want you to know that I am praying for you. I'm praying for good results and for God to wrap his loving arms around you and give you peace and comfort. You have been so encouraging to me and I appreciate your encouragement and your knowledge that you share with all of us on this discussion board. 

I will be lifting you up in prayer and waiting to hear the good news after your PET scan. 

 

Sincerely,

Krissy

 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so much for the prayers and good thoughts.  I know this will all turn out okay, no matter the results, but of course, I am hoping for the best possible news.  Thank you again for your support!

Martha

pializ
Posts: 454
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi there lovely lady!

Hopefully this is just a glitch & nothing sinister. Trouble is, after having a diagnosis of cancer, we will always be looking over our shoulder. I think only those of us who have been there 'get' that. In the UK, I doubt I would even have a scan at gone 5 years, so I would still be in blissful ignorance. The chances are that what has shown up is something benign, but I am so glad you are being looked after.

Sending you all the best wishes & positive vibes possible

Liz

mxperry220
Posts: 475
Joined: Mar 2011

I know you are stressed out having to wait for PET/CT scan.  As has been discussed on this board, the waiting/unknown is the worst.  I have my annual physical with my interest Tuesday.  I always get a little uptight before doctor's appointments.  I will be praying for you and hopeful there is no cancer.  I know for myself if I have anything happen out of my norm healhwise I always think the worst, but this is just my nature.  I would think as closely as you have been monitored and as far out as you are for from treatments this will be nothing.  Keeping you in my thoughts.

Mike

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mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so much for the encouragement and positive thoughts.  I am doing a pretty good job of keeping calm--distraction, distraction, distraction!  My yard is the benefactor, as I've been spending most of my time out there.  Will I have a sorry looking liver but a beautiful yard?  Time will tell, but I hope they both turn out to be looking good!  Thanks again for all the kind words!

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lizdeli
Posts: 567
Joined: Jul 2009

i have been away for awhile and logged in tonight. Not what I expected to read. I am sorry you have to go through this scary blip. I have a strong feeling it's just that.  I read my scans and get scared.  Nodules  here an there with all these names!  I do remember when I was first diagnosed they thought it was in my inguial lymph nodes because they were so inflammed.  After testing they came out bengin and they were just aggravated.  So I'm hoping your nodes are just aggravated as well.

I will keep you in my prayers.

Hugs

Liz

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so much.  My med onc did not seem overly worried about either of these things seen on the scan, but he is a very laid-back person, so it is hard to get a read on his feelings on it.  As for my friend, Dr. Mac, he is a little more concerned, I think just because we are personal friends.  Both of them agree that we need to get the PET scan so that anything sinister can be ruled out.  Right now, no one is sure about the area seen on the liver, so hopefully the PET scan will tell us what's going on with that.  My med onc said that if there is any reason to believe there is cancer there, a biopsy is next.  But I am hoping, like you say, that everything will turn out to be benign.  Right now, I am still in wait mode for ins. approval and scheduling. 

I hope you are doing well and enjoying a nice summer.  Thank you so much for the prayers--I appreciate that so very much!  Hugs!

Martha

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islandgirlculebra
Posts: 149
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I haven't been on in a while, just logged on tonight to see what's going on. You are such a caring person and help so many on this board. I will be praying extra hard for you to have good results from the PET scan.

mp327's picture
mp327
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Thank you so very much--I really appreciate the prayers and good thoughts!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
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I just got a call from the hospital to schedule the PET scan.  I am set up for Monday @ 3 p.m.  Any and all good wishes and prayers are most appreciated!  Thank you!

eihtak
Posts: 1255
Joined: Oct 2011

Tons of good vibes and prayers are headed your way!!!!!!

On the breast cancer board we have an imaginary "pink" bus that members cyber board to ride along and support one another on their way to appointments. We here deserve a decked out bus as well, or maybe a private jet or cruise ship!

Whatever the mode of transportation, we'll all be there on Monday and, in the days that follow.

I'll bring a thick, rich, homeade cheesecake from Wisconsin!

katheryn

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so much for the good wishes and prayers!  I like the imaginary bus idea!  I can almost taste that cheesecake!  Thanks again!

Krissy59
Posts: 33
Joined: Oct 2013

Martha,

I will be praying for you and for good results from the scan.  You have always been there  with encouragement for all of us on here and I will be there with you! Just know that you have tons if people lifting you up during this difficult time. 

Sincerely,

Krissy

 

pializ
Posts: 454
Joined: Nov 2012

Consider me on the bus too! I have all the best wishes for the outcome we all want for you. You are in my thoughts.

Liz

qv62
Posts: 435
Joined: Nov 2012

so glad you have an appt, waiting for one really stinks ! prayers and good wishes for MOnday, I am hopping on the bus too, let's hope it's a good ride !

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so much for thinking of me, especially since you are right in the midst of treatment.  I appreciate the prayers and good wishes so very much!

AZedj
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2013

I think working in the garden is good theraphy too. With all the love and prayers going out to you I think our higher power is listening. I believe thinking and believing good thoughts brings them your way! You are in my prayers today and everyday! I pray for all of us. May we all remain NED even though we all know that is not realistic. We need to BELIEVE!

Claudia

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so very much for your words of encouragement and prayers.  It makes me feel so good to know that I have all of this support!  Bless all of you!

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 646
Joined: Apr 2009

me too,,,, i am on the bus  knowing that all will be good.....scar tissue or something ,,,,  hugs......sephie.....by the way,  i think we really deserve the pink private jet.....

 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks so much!  Yes, the pink jet sounds nice!  I will certainly let everyone know what my results are as soon as I can.  Since my scan is late in the day, I may not hear until Tuesday.   Thanks for the hugs and good thoughts!

AZANNIE's picture
AZANNIE
Posts: 443
Joined: Mar 2011

I'm on the bus too - destination - NED for you!

 

Ann

 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so very much!  I am trying to keep NED on my mind and think positively.  I hope you are doing well!  Thanks again for the good wishes!

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 646
Joined: Apr 2009

martha,   i decided NOT to let them do another CT on me last march ....which was my 4.5 year mark after tx..... i am just going to stay with my decision but i will not have any more CT's from MD Anderson unless i feel something or have other symptoms......of course, by the time you notice something , it is a little late..... oh well....were you not at the 5 year mark or longer????    .sephie

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

I am actually coming up to the 6-year survivor mark on September 9th. (my last day of treatment in 2008).  I do believe that I am being scanned more than most people and I attribute that to the fact that my next door neighbor, who is also one of my best friends, is a radiologist AND a cancer survivor himself.  He and my oncologist are buds and I think I am getting more attention than most of their patients.  I am not trying to brag here--it was pure luck that I happened to buy a house next to a doctor who is one of the most wonderful human beings on earth!  I feel very fortunate that he cares so much and wants me to not succumb to this disease.  All that said, I have to add that I have many times had feelings of guilt over all of this because I know other people are not being monitored as closely.  The amount of radiation I've gotten over the years concerns me also, and I was all ready to tell my oncologist after this recent CT scan that I would not undergo anymore scans, unless like you said, there was a good reason.  When the CT results showed a couple areas of concern, I quickly tabled the discussion of no more scans. 

This all brings up the debate that we've discussed here many times--when to scan, how often to scan, when to quit, etc.  Do the benefits of scans outweigh the risks?  I just don't know the answer to that one.  But based on my own experience, I would have to say that I'm glad I had the scan recently so that if something is sinister with my liver, we can hopefully get it before it's too late.  I also would like to say that I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Mac and my oncologist.  Now is the time to trust in their knowledge and experience and I know they have my best interest at heart.

gabby_ca
Posts: 38
Joined: Jul 2006

Best wishes to u and your upcoming scan. How long have you been Ned for now? The waiting is awful. Next month I am EIGHT years Ned and I decided 3 years ago that unless I am symptomatic, I am done with checkups. I work for a radiation oncologist with his horses and he supports my decision In this matter ;-) I am sure all is well. If it's not, you are strong and we will b here for you. 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks so much for the good thoughts.  I count my NED date as September 9th. every year and this year, it will be 6 years.  I really did not want to have this scan, but went ahead with it, vowing to have a serious conversation with my med onc about it being my last.  Now this!  I have the PET on Monday and see him on Wednesday to discuss the results.  I am hoping with all my heart that this turns out to be nothing.  Of course, if it's not, then I will undergo biopsy.  I just don't need this!  I am trying to make sure my 89-year old mother is well-cared for in an assisted living home 600 miles away from where I live.  She has dementia and I try to go visit her as often as I can.  Also, my husband had planned to retire (again) at the end of this year so we could actually do some of the fun things retired people do.  Any sinister findings could change all that.  I am staying busy, distraction can be a very good thing.  My house and yard are in the best shape right now!  Let's hope I am too!  The funny thing is I do feel really good, so perhaps that's a good sign.  I hope you are doing well!  Thanks again for the encouragement!

Martha

Krissy59
Posts: 33
Joined: Oct 2013

Have you had any symptoms (even vague ones) that would have made you thought something might be going on? I am also concerned that if I ignore something then I will miss something important but I also don't want to complain about everything and be like the boy that cried wolf!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

I have to say that I have been feeling very good as of late.  I am sleeping much better these days because my husband (who is a snorer) sleeps in the guest room so that I can sleep better.  It's not the best arrangement, but we both realized that I was very sleep deprived and that was not good!  I will have to say that I sometimes get little pinches of pain on my right side under my rib cage.  However, since my experience with the intestinal blockage I've always attributed this pain to things just perhaps being bogged down a little going through my digestive system.  I brought this up with my oncologist last week and he assured me that this would not be caused by cancer in my liver.  I still wonder and I guess I'm about to find out after Monday's scan.  Like you, I do not want to freak out about each and every little pain.  If this scan had not been scheduled as a follow-up, I would never even have thought about having another scan. 

Gulamin
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

And sending lots of positive energy and healing thoughts for a good outcome. You always are on all of our sides. Thinking of you. 

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