The word I least want to see on a radiology report is progression. Resolution, in any form, is a highly coveted term, but next best is stability.

Yesterday we went over my latest scan with Dr. Shaw. In marked contrast to the previous radiology report, this one was short and sweet.

It reads:  “Multiple solid and ground glass nodules are stable compared to most recent prior study of 4/12/10 but have increased in size compared to 10/20/09 concerning for slowly worsening multifocal adenocarcinoma/braonchioloalveolar carcinoma.”

Slowly, I really like the sound of that as well.

Alice (Dr. Shaw) was also quite pleased with the report. The fact that there are no new lesions and no growth in previously identified nodules, suggests that my cancer is yet responding in part to the 1066. It also means that it is appropriate for me to stay on 1066 at least until my next scan in mid August. This buys me more time (always of the essence) and also gives those pharmaceutical companies an opportunity to further tweak whatever is next in my anti-cancer arsenal.

I am very, very pleased.

David and I also had the opportunity to meet two other couples at the hospital yesterday who are engaged in similar battles.  Leslie and Steve and Sue and Matt, although I wish we’d had a chance to be introduced under different circumstances, it was a pleasure and I hope we’ll see each other again, and again (for years and years!).

As I sat in the waiting room yesterday, I was really struck by how many young people were there. Five years ago, when I first started hanging out here, most of the patients were significantly older than myself. Sadly, that seems to be changing. But then, much has changed, and whereas progression in an individual cancer is a dirty word, progress in the lab is a very good thing indeed. My oncologist, Dr. Alice Shaw, is one of several researchers at the forefront of recent discoveries in lung cancer; discoveries which promise some hope in this hard-to-treat disease.

More good news to report, close to the home front. On Sunday the boys (David, Peter, Buddy) and I went for a hike in the woods. I was mostly looking for the reddish orange newts which appear underfoot at this time of year.

We saw plenty of those, but also spotted not one, but two, black bear in the woods. The first one was an adolescent and disappeared deeper into the forest so quickly that I only heard but didn’t see him. The second bear was very large, and we watched him for several minutes as he lumbered through the trees and then a clearing. He was spectacular. And no, I’m not a good action photographer, so I didn’t capture him on film. However, almost as good, I photographed some lovely (and slow moving) purple fungus. Enjoy.

26 responses to “Stability

  1. Pat & Will Plattner

    GOOD NEWS!!!! We were so happy to read it!
    Enjoy the summer! Hope to see you both when we come in August!

    • Linnea, i just found your blog. My husband also has Stage IV lung cancer, BAC. He has been at it for 8 years. Check out my website. interested in comparing notes. His last mets were to the bone, but thankfully he responded to the treatment.

      • Cynthia, 8 years is a long (but inspiring to those of us also on this journey) time. So good that he continues to respond to treatment. Linnea

    • Thanks you two–August is a date! Linnea

  2. Congratulations.
    I was waiting for this good news.
    Progression stabs. Stable buys time.
    Time is better that money.
    Enjoy it with family and friends.
    Repeat in August can be a good birthday present for me. We are like babies in the woods.
    Hug and kisses from us.

    • Guillermo, if you will accept it as a birthday gift, I will give it. That, and more time for us both at this party. xxoo to you both. Linnea

  3. Wonderful news! I am so happy for you.

  4. Linnea,
    Steve and I enjoyed meeting you and David yesterday, although I wish it was under different circumstances! We felt so good after talking with you and knowing that we all truly understood one another since we are on similar journeys. I truly hope we will meet many more times, in fact, Steve suggested that sometime this summer that we all meet for dinner in Meredith-interested in making a plan? We use to do a lot of boating on Winnepesauke in our before cancer days and we loved hanging out in Meredith. Let me know what you think. Thanks again for meeting up with us-really enjoyed it!

    • Leslie, we really enjoyed meeting you as well, and yes, dinner would be great. I will email you contact info and let’s make plans. Linnea

  5. Dearest Linnea,

    I have been so hoping for wonderful news! I am, in a word, thrilled!

    May you be blessed with everlasting stability!


    P.S. Love the photos!

    • Tracy, stable, and balanced–I’ll take it! Thank you (and isn’t the nature just outside our door amazing?) Linnea

  6. Linnea,

    Thank you for your output and for showing strangers like me that it s possible to be hopeful under any circumstance. Each time you post I get a little extra strength.


    • Thank you David, And you’re not really a stranger anymore now that you’ve joined this little community 🙂 Linnea

  7. I love to read yourscan was stable..that certainly is a good thing in the lung -cancer world……….Enjoy the feeling of stability!

    Love caroline

    • Caroline, I (not being very patient) usually move quickly, but I keep sending SLOW thoughts to my cancer. Thanks and love, Linnea

  8. Linnea,
    Glad to hear the good news. I think your natural strength, with the help of the 1066, brought you the result. Stay strong!
    I’ve seen lots of newts in St. Vincent but never an orange kind! Pretty! But, I’m not using this photo for the wallpaper of my iphone 🙂 Yuki

    • Yuki, eggs are likely better wallpaper. And believe it or not, the newts are difficult to get a good picture of (they tend to move at just the wrong moment–can’t really blame them). I would love to see the newts on St. Vincent…maybe one of these days! You stay strong as well, Love, Linnea

  9. Hooray! What terrific news. It’s especially nice to hear that the tumor can wiggle from time to time, but then settle back down and behave itself.

  10. Hi Linnea,

    After following your blog for sometime, and hoping that by chance I would eventually run into you in Dr. Shaw’s office, it was great to finally meet both you and David in person earlier this week. While I agree that the circumstances of our meeting suck, being able to talk to someone who has gone through some of the same struggles that I currently am made the meeting quite meaningful to me. Thank you for taking the time to chat with me. Because of you, I no longer feel as alone or isolated as I did. You are truly an inspiration….take care
    Sue Tefft

    • Sue, when asked to describe my experience with lung cancer initially, isolating pretty much summed it up. It’s been a blessing to me to be able to connect with so many; yourself included. Strength in numbers! So yes, thank you for approaching me in the waiting room. that’s not an easy thing to do (something about the venue) but I’m glad you did. Stay in touch. Linnea

  11. Stable ‘n slow… ‘S wonderful.
    Love you,

  12. Linnea (from NY)

    Linnea, glad to read of your “stability”…that’s wonderful news. I am certain you have championed, in part, because of your outlook, positive attitude and creative visualization. Too often these attributes are overlooked when coping…Glad to hear you’re going to Sweden. I have been trying to find cousins on FB to no avail. It seems there are so many Eriksons, Karl Eriks and Magdalenas!!!!! Where are you planning to visit? I went back in ’77. Take Care, Linnea (NY)

    • Linnea, I never know for sure how much of a difference attitude makes, but just like the good luck charms I carry ( so silly, a superstitious atheist), picturing myself invincible certainly seems to make it (seem) so.
      Aug and I hope to go to Sweden this fall–one more scan to get out of the way before it is for certain, but I’m going to plan on it. My maiden name is Olson, also not an easy surname to sort through in Sweden 🙂 Linnea

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