[cancer] Some good news

A couple of pieces of good news since last I posted. (And it’s amazing how relative one’s standards for “good” news can be.)

Spoke to my cancer doc. He tells me that the PET report shows lymph nodes clear. Right now we’re running with the assumption of no lymphatic involvement. That’s huge for me, both emotionally and medically, as it removes the biggest, darkest black hole of fear, pain and mortality from this equation. I still have questions about how the cancer got from the colon to liver, and what that implies for the lymph, but we’re not looking at immediate risks there. A big bullet dodged.

On the liver, he wants to proceed with some support from a liver cancer specialist and the tumor board at the hospital. Next steps are probably MRI and biopsy. He characterizes the PET report as “anomalies” rather than “tumors” at this point, but that’s not so much optimism as precision about the lack of full information. I’ll go in sometime next week when I’m back from my travels for a consult, and possibly the MRI.

On the polyp and the possible recurrence of colon cancer, the path report came back today. Polyp was benign but definitely pre-cancerous. We’ll be discussing my colonoscopy schedule at the consult, and the long-term implications of this. While upsetting in their own right, that’s another bullet dodged for right now.

So I’m down from three possible cancers to one. The liver cancer is curable, manageable, addressable; and I’ll only be fighting one damned thing at time. The colon stuff may become a lifetime rearguard action, but it won’t accelerate my mortality much so long as I’m extremely diligent. And the lymphatic involvement, well, it’s off the table.

Amazing what can count as good news, isn’t it? It’s a weird life I have when the prospect of liver surgery is an upgrade and cause for optimism, but that’s true.

9 thoughts on “[cancer] Some good news

  1. Pat Cadigan says:

    Hey, what’s good is good, and sometimes that’s good enough. Hang in there!

  2. Bridget Coila says:

    This is good news (in that odd relative sense of “good”)… Definitely awesome news that you get to keep living and that the lymph nodes are clear!

    Hope the liver stuff is taken care of as painlessly and completely as possible.

    (And “rearguard”…*giggle*…)


  3. It’s also weird to want to say “Yay!” to the prospect of you having liver surgery. But I’m so relieved that the other two big scaries are off the table.

  4. John D. says:

    Wishing you the best, Jay!

  5. That the lymph system is clear is definitely good news. It just means you’re unlucky enough to have two cancer sites that are unrelated. And the liver can grow back whatever needs to be removed, so that’s a plus. So right now that just means keeping to the schedule of checkups and getting your tires rotated every 10,000 miles.

    1. Jay says:

      Actually, they probably are related. The expected diagnosis is colon cancer of the liver, which is the most common metastasis of colon cancer.

  6. Catherine Shaffer says:

    Have you talked with your onc about restaging the cancer? I’m glad you’re feeling reassured. Cancer really is a roller coaster.

    1. Jay says:

      Part of next week’s discussion, actually. Metastasis was so unlikely given the staging established last year… And feeling reassured is a relative thing, obviously. But I’d much rather fight one battle at a time than a three-front war, you know?

  7. “The colon stuff may become a lifetime rearguard action…”

    You are a funny, funny writer.

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