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LexieCat

Just had scan, oncologist next week

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I had my semi-annual scan this past week.  I was so glad they called to confirm my appointment and ask about my blood work.  I had scheduled my blood work for the early morning of the day I was having the scan (scan scheduled for 6 pm), and I didn't realize (or had forgotten) they needed the lab results BEFORE the scan.  I was thinking it was just for the doctor's visit coming up.  The lab where I'd  scheduled the blood work is slow (the only outside lab my insurance will let me use), but since I'm having the scan at the local MD Anderson Cancer Center, they said I could have the blood work done at their lab, and it would be available in time for the scan.  I think it's the creatine level they need for the scan--to ensure your kidneys can handle the contrast they use.

So the scan is done, and I meet with the oncologist Thursday (and assuming all is well, I'm having phase 2 of my dental adventure later that same day).  I haven't had a whole lot of time to worry about the scan this past week--I was in Boise for a training for the latter half of last week, and I am presenting a training in Harrisburg this week (involving overnight travel).  Then the day after our Tuesday training I am going with a friend to the U2 concert in Philadelphia, and my oncologist visit is the next morning.  So at least I'm keeping busy and it's sorta taking my mind off things.  Funny, we did this same training in Harrisburg last year, and the day we did the training was the day after I'd been told I had probable lung cancer.  So I was feeling a bit rattled, to say the least, but concentrating on doing the training was therapeutic.  I had a chance to talk to some of my work friends about it--one of the disadvantages of my work situation is that I'm working at home most of the time.  So at least my work friends will be able to think good thoughts for me this week--and I'd be grateful for any good vibes any of you can send in the general direction of South Jersey next Thursday. 

Teri

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Hi Teri,

Best wishes for a clear scan and an uneventful dental adventure.. Keeping busy while waiting for scan results is a really good idea. I'll be thinking about you.

Bridget O

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Thanks, Tom,

I'd contacted my dentist's office just to be sure if I had to have a last-minute cancellation that they wouldn't charge me a cancellation fee.  The office manager said they weren't worried because they were POSITIVE I'd have a good scan, but just to put my mind at ease they weren't going to charge me for cancellation if that were the reason.  It sounds dumb, but considering how expensive this dental work is (and the fact that it's almost entirely out of pocket), that was one thing I felt better about nailing down.  Again, probably just trying to control what I can.  :)

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Teri,

Uncommon common sense in trying only to control that which is controllable. I went down the “control it all at all cost” trail and it did not end well for me. A lesson learned the hard way sticks....

Stay the course. 

Tom

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Waiting for results of tests is tough. Keeping busy with your mind elsewhere is great! I made a deal with myself to only give 1....maximum two hours on cancer related activities each day. Reminding myself that my life is more than cancer. Sending you soft hugs.

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Teri,

Thanks to you, I've been listening to U2 non-stop! I am so jealous that you get to see them.  I saw them about 15 years ago...they are in my top 5 favorite concerts.  My friends and I had a bet as to what color glasses Bono would be wearing when he first came on stage.  I guessed white and was wrong. Perhaps if he is wearing white glasses at your concert, I can hit them up for that beer I bet them all those years ago!  I hope you can concentrate all of your energy on the concert and forget about the upcoming scan results. Hope you have a blast!!!

My mom and I are visiting our fellow Parrotheads at the end of the month when Jimmy comes to Seattle.  

Steff

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Hmmm....

So I got an email this morning from Cooper Health System, informing me I had "New test results"--I've NEVER had radiology results (related to my lung cancer) sent directly to me, but sure enough, that's what it was.

Now, what's interesting is that there is one "new" .2 cm nodule in the lower right lobe (new as compared to my last scan in December).  Yet my very first screening scan, before I was diagnosed, described a .4 cm nodule in the lower right lobe, which was never mentioned in any of the subsequent scans.  So I'm not sure whether this might be the same nodule or a different one.  Still, given my history of "mystery nodules" on my right lung, which mysteriously appear and disappear for no known reason, I'm choosing to assume this isn't anything to get excited about.  .2 cm is 2 mm, which is super small, and nothing in the report indicates it's particularly suspicious in any way.

So I'm choosing to chill until I talk to my oncologist on Thursday.  I'd be surprised, I think, if he wanted to do anything more than to keep an eye on it (assuming it sticks around!).  My other lower left lobe nodules (three of them) are exactly the same as on the last scan, so those seem to just be part of the furniture at the moment.

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Chilling until you see the onc sounds like a fine idea. I hope that the .2 cm nodule turns out to be part of the furniture too, or else one of the magical disappearing ones. Let us know what the onc says.

Bridget O

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Teri,

There and gone: I know well the phenomena.  I broke out a spreadsheet, went to my earliest radiological report and started tracking nodules by date, size and location.  This helped and in fact was a real boost to my attitude when I was admitted to a hospital on an emergency basis, unrelated to lung cancer.  The emergency doctor ordered a CT scan and results reported several "hypo-dense" cysts in my liver.  His pronouncement of bad news was interrupted by "I've been tracking them for years without change."

It is good you are adhering to followup diagnostics.  Lung cancer, unfortunately, is persistent and recurrence is common, even in early stage finds.  You are exercising your best defense.

Stay the course.

Tom

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So I just met with my oncologist.  He was very happy with the scan, and was all ready to explain that the "new" nodule may have been present on prior scans.  He explained that the CT scans examine "slices" 5 mm in width, so any nodules smaller than 5 mm (.5 cm) may or may not appear on any given scan.  So that helps explain the "mystery" nodules that apparently appear and disappear.  But he stressed that he saw nothing that concerned him, and he wants another scan in six months, as usual.  He suggested again that after two years the time between scans may go back to annual.  This scan I just had is about a year after my initial diagnosis (a little less than a year from the time of my surgery).  But he was very upbeat, which is always nice to see.

In about an hour I'm off to the dentist for my dental surgery.  I'm REALLY looking forward to getting this done--this represents the last of the "hard part"--then it's just a matter of giving the new implants time to heal and then getting the spectacular new, final teeth.  (LOL, yeah, I got high hopes for that!)

Thanks, everyone, for the good vibes and positive thoughts--they definitely helped!

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Dental surgery went great, thanks.  It wasn't as traumatic as last time--I was already missing a few upper teeth, so not as many extractions, and dentist was able to "recycle" a couple of the implants I already had in place--he only needed to place four more, I believe.  So I'm a bit sore and puffy, though not nearly as swollen as last time--last time I looked pretty horrifying the first few days post-surgery!

Oh, and Stef, U2 was great.  My friend and I were trying to determine what color Bono's glasses were (just for your benefit) but we couldn't quite make them out.  So they MIGHT have been white, and if it helps you feel vindicated, go for it.  :)

 

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BTW, Tom, 

Thanks for the suggestion about the spreadsheet.  I am totally incompetent when it comes to Excel, but it's not like I NEED a spreadsheet to track my few nodules.  I can just compile the data in a Word doc and update it on each scan.  But it's a great idea to keep it all in one place so I don't have to sort through multiple radiology reports every time I have a new scan.

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