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.