Patient: What's the good news?
Doctor: They are naming a disease after you!
OK, it’s not exactly that.The Good News - I had a PET/CT Scan 10 days ago. The results show the Chemotherapy I am taking seems to be working. My primary lung tumor is a little smaller (8-9 mm) and the cancer activity is down somewhat. More importantly, the Hilum area of the lung (which never showed a tumor or enlarged lymph node, but had a rising level of cancer activity) now shows negligible to no cancer activity (that’s the good news). The spine still shows cancer activity, but I have no pain and am ready to radiate when the doctors say so.
The Medium News - A new genetic mutation for my specific type of lung cancer has been identified and an oral target gene therapy has been shown to be very effective with little to no side effects. The odds of having the gene mutation is 5% to 10% (actually a little higher because I do not have other identified gene mutations).
The Bad News - The only way to test for the gene mutation is to test lung tissue samples from the original primary tumor. I only have hip tissue from my biopsy and surgery from last year. Not good enough. Considering lung biopsies carry a 20% chance of lung collapse (SHUDDER) and the tumor is so small, I do not want anyone poking needles around in my lung like a kid in a balloon gallery with a knitting needle. So the biopsy is a no go, as is the ability to know whether I carry the gene mutation.
So it is back to expect nothing and appreciate anything. Other than Chemo weeks (like this one) I feel pretty good physically and mentally. The kids are busy with school and I’m busy with them and the house. Time marches on and I continue to live on, while doing everything I can to keep doing so. As always, the positive energy I always feel from family and friends feeds my positive energy and certainly contributes to my continuing successful fight against steep odds.
Today’s Chemo treatment was typical run of the mill Chemotherapy, if there is such a thing. Ate a nice dinner, but plan to lay low for the next few days as my body digests the toxins. The lawn is cut and leak in the bathroom is fixed so I guess I can chill till Rushahoma. Happy New Year to my Jewish family and friends. Is it 5772 already? It seems as if it was just 5749. Where has the time gone?