Let’s discuss CTscans.
Relevant parts of my latest CTscan reports (10/29/2014) state: “There is a STABLE spiculated nodule in the posteromedial left lower lobe most likely a (treated) primary lung malignancy. There is a curvilinear zone of suspected scarring in the posterolateral left lower lobe, STABLE. There are at least ten STABLE scattered hazy sub-centimeter poorly defined nodular densities and amorphous lesions superimposed upon moderate severity emphysematous change with varying degrees of air trapping in both lungs.”
I got this. My inner linguist can translate the radiologist’s highfalutin technical terminologies to the vernacular. Based on my Google University Oncology training, here’s my interpretation of the report as written in street language: “The main tumor at the bottom of the left lung is STABLE. Part of it may just be scarring and it’s STABLE. Who knows! At least ten of the ‘too many to count’ tiny nodules in both lungs may be cancerous but they are also STABLE. The rest may just be bird caca infection.”
The report practically echoes all the other reports I have received since December 2012. The first after-treatment CTscan would be the one done 100 days after Tarceva mauled the 3cm x 3cm cancerous mass and reduced it to a mere sliver of a nodule at the bottom of my left lung. Other vital aspects are repeated in report after report: no metastases outside the lungs, no involvement of lymph nodes, no hilar or mediastinal mass, nothing suspicious in the brain, bones, kidneys, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bowels. No wonder I have always felt feisty enough to consider entering the mud-wrestling contest. But all the reports keep reminding me that my uterus is already absent. That gives me pause.
Since treatment facilities don’t recognize a cancer patient with a Certificate of Stability award, I’ll go ahead and issue me one. I have this calligraphy pen set that had been used in producing self-award certificates in my days of visualization: Miss Universe, Engineer Extraordinaire. Outstanding Businesswoman. Mother of the Year. This time, I’ll proclaim myself a “Cancerist,” a sufferer of a chronic disease. Don’t ask me about the terms for the non-chronic or other chronic cancers. I can only invent a word for the kind of cancer that I have. Everybody’s cancer is different.
So far, the fight between this Tarceva Diva and the cancer can be summarized this way: In 20 months, Tarceva reduced the cancerdude to a pulp and knocked it down. At the count of 10, the CO-1686 drug sat on the prostrate perp’s face. It’s been eight months since and counting. In addition, the CO-1686 drug lowered my historically high cholesterol and made me lose unwanted weight. I’m loving this drug!
It’s time to move on now as far as describing anything in the CO-1686 trials. Since the very beginning, I have reported the routine bloodletting, Electrocardiogram (ECG) tests, and CTscans in layman’s language and picturesque descriptions. The archives await those who care to read the blow-by-blow accounts. My next post on My CO-1686 will be if or when I’m kicked out of the trials. No news will be good news, in other words.
I’ll continue to do my share in advancing science by taking my CO-1686 medications, allowing the bloodletting trade to flourish, sharing with the scanners the intimate details of my innards, and giving the Onc, radiologist, and their gang the opportunity to do their thing to justify their pay. Meanwhile I continue my search for relevance as discussed in this link:
A number of my blog followers have egged me on to do something. They told me that I now have the experience to fill an informative humor book that can help to enlighten and entertain the very scared people: those newly diagnosed with cancer and the folks who love them.
I think I’ve got the beginning, middle, and ending figured out. If I keep the book lighter than “War and Peace,” I might live long enough to finish writing it.