[cancer] Cautious Optimism

and I were at UCSF today to meet with a liver surgeon and an oncologist. We discussed the recent scan results with both doctors. In short, there is cause for cautious optimism.

Scan results indicate that the liver mass has not grown detectably in 60 days. At that growth rate, we can afford to be conservative about treatment.

However, the lung spot has grown from 5 mm to 7-8 mm. This is within the +/- 5 mm margin of error in the scanning process, so they are not too concerned. More to the point, no other lung spots were detected.

No lymph spots detected on this scan, which suggests the lymphatic issues from the May scan were a transient infection. (This was one possible theory at the time.)

The only discrepancy between the California and Oregon teams is that the read on my MRI by the Oregon radiologist was “indicative of metastatic disease” while the read on the same MRI data by the California radiologist was more benign. This may become significant in determining whether to stay the current course on chemo or carry forward with a “watch and wait” strategy.

The California team recommended no treatment at this time, with CT and PET scanning in October, after a three month wait, to recheck growth in liver and lungs. I am not assuming chemo is off for now until I see my Oregon oncologist next week and hear her take, but the stability of the liver mass seems encouraging.

Knowing that it’s not growing like wildfire inside of me eases my mind considerably. Knowing that the lung spot is isolated and not part of a widespread pattern eases my mind considerably. We’ll see what happens next week. I’m not allowing myself to be too buoyed by this yet, but it’s the first time since May that the medical news has gotten better. If this trend holds up next week, I’ll be a very happy boy.

11 thoughts on “[cancer] Cautious Optimism

  1. Cliff Winnig says:

    (Guardedly) awesome!

  2. Mary Kay says:

    Fingers crossed for you!

  3. bouncing very quietly, not shrieking — but bouncing, all the same. 🙂

  4. tetar says:

    A lot of what is recommended stems from where the doctors were trained and by what system, or by whom. Which is why you’re definitely doing the right thing getting widely-spaced second- and third-opinions. Keep this going, and never let one doctor panic you; medicine is an art, not even close to a science, despite all the science-y stuff that it uses.

    And bravo for the good reports. Keep ’em coming.

  5. I’m happy to hear this news. Not being in the lymph system is huge in my book.

    I’ll continue thinking healing thoughts for ya.

  6. So glad there is no lymph involvement!

  7. I join you in cautious optimism and am knocking on wood that it continues.

  8. Ilsa J. BIck says:

    Absolutely a very good reason to be cautiously optimistic. Fingers and toes crossed.

  9. Ilsa J. Bick says:

    Absolutely a very good reason to be cautiously optimistic.

  10. Chris Hawley says:

    That’s good news. I’m glad to hear it.

  11. lynD says:

    That’s great (cautious) news. The folks at UCSF are some of the best, as you know.

    Continued hope for the best possible outcome.

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