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I THINK it's good news....


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After Thursday's PET scan, We had our (very first) oncologist meeting today, to go over the PET scan and everything else.

The PET scan seemed pretty good. Some inflammation around surgical areas (of course), especially around the spots where the chest tubes were inserted; a peculiar diffused area in the upper buttock/lower left back area (after some quick thinking, we agreed that it was the pump implanted after Len’s first spinal fusion and still there, albeit with completely dead batteries, now). But none of these had anything suspicious about them, giving no cause for fear of any “mets”. There was also an area on the back of his neck/base of skull, but again nothing that looked like mets -- still, he will have to have an MRI on his skull – the PET scan apparently didn’t do the job it needed to do there, possibly because they truncated it a bit because of his claustrophobia. He can have an “open MRI” next week, just to make sure that everything is as it should be

Everything else seemed fine. The diagnosis turned out to be a little different from what we had first heard -- the fact that it was a different stage wasn't a surprise, but the type of cancer was. We had been told, by our primary physician after the biopsy, that it was squamous cell. Today we found out it was adenocarcinoma. And the malignant nymph node was a mediastinum node, not in the right lung, so that bumped him up from stage II to stage III.

Still, there was no other signs of further malignancy, and he is recovering well. So we're going with the recommendation of chemo, which the oncologist thinks he will withstand well -- he's quite healthy, this little blip notwithstanding. He starts chemo two weeks from today, on 28 June. He will only have to undergo three sessions, at three week intervals, using a combination of taxol and carboplatin.

Thanks for all your good thoughts, positive vibes and other generous outpourings. Keep them coming our way!


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This does sound like good news! It's nice to have some answers and have most of these tests behind you...eh? I hope the open MRI goes alright.

One thing they did when I had my MRI (it was not an open one either....but I'm not especially claustrophobic!!) was to place a washcloth over my eyes. That way, even if you open your eyes, you cannot see how close the machine is to your face...BUT I was able to see a bit of light from underneath the cloth and it sort of helped to orient me.

Perhaps this little trick would help Len??

Good luck and keep us posted.

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I, too, think this sounds like a pretty good report. Good luck also on the MRI. I had a closed MRI of my back last year. When the ortho told me, I said no way, I couldn't do it. He said, "Yes you can". He handed me a prescription for two Ativan pills to take one hour before the test, and I was about as goofy and giggly as you can imagine. Immediately after, I had a myleogram (sp?) and then a CT Scan. I vaguely remember the myleogram but don't even remember getting the CT Scan. :lol::lol: You would have to let my husband tell you the story. He just smiled and shook his head when I came out of the testing area. He went to get the truck to pick me up at the door because I think he probably thought others would think he was with a drunk. LOLOL!!!

Also, when I got the closed MRI, they gave me these funny little glasses. If you open your eyes while you're in there, you don't see the top of the machine, but you see out over your feet into the open room. They were very weird. I do remember opening my eyes and peeking once, but I immediately closed them.

Best of luck to you,


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This sounds like great news to me.

You may want to ask your onc. about your husband taking Celebrex while on the Taxol/Carbo.

Taxol can cause joint pain - and Celebrex can help that. But the big deal is that there are some reports that Celebrex is also an anti cancer drug. Earl went on it with the Taxol, but the onc. has kept him on it ever since.

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