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Oncology 14.0 PET Edition

January 13, 2012 13 comments

I have the semi-official results from my PET scan on Wednesday.

The results are reported by three different radiologists, so the final report is still pending, but the preliminary report is as follows.

There appears to be no further spread of my cancer than what we already know about from CT imaging. Basically, this is what we were hoping for. There was a real risk of having further metastasis that are too small to be seen by CT, if you were to follow the expectant course of adenocarcinoma, then you might expect to see these. I was thinking we would see further lymph node involvement at the very least, especially in the para-aortic chain where there is already disease. But, it would seem there are only the four nodes that we already knew about.

What this means is that I am being offered surgery. I described these surgery in a previous post, so won’t get into the finer details of it here, but retro-peritoneal lymph node dissection is pretty huge surgery, and not without its risks or complications. What surgery offers though, is the first prospect of turning my illness into something non-terminal for over two years. Its a bit to get my head around to be honest. Of course, surgery could equally accelerate the disease and having me find my end of life sooner rather than later, as with medicine in general, its a risk/benefit equation.

At this stage, surgery has been pencilled in for the 14th of February. I would expect to not be working for probably 3 months after that as I recover. The hospital stay is 10-14 days if there are no complications making me stay longer, but with a surgery this large, there is a reasonable chance that complications will occur. In the mean time, I may or may not re-start chemo, I have to wait till I meet with my oncologist to see what he thinks with regard to this.

If the final report adds or changes the picture, I shall update to let you all know. In the mean time, I will digest this new and rapidly changing course of events.

Into the unpredictable future I go…

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