Friday, December 11, 2009

Third Movement

The third chemotherapy session was yesterday. It went without incident. It was preceded by a CT scan with contrast on Wednesday which was done to show the progression/regression of the cancer. In addition, last week, I discovered a swelling on the left side of my neck that appeared to be a lymph node and so a neck view was added to the CT scan.

The scan was done at 8:30 in the morning. This time they were able to use the port to inject the contrast material. The metallic taste as they did so was more pronounced. But it went without a hitch.

When my daughter and I met with the oncologist, Dr. N, at 4pm, the results were mixed. The two tumors in my lower left lobe ("G" and "C," have shrunk approximately 30%). But there has been no change in the tumor that has settled on my vocal cord nerve ("R"), so a fourth chemotherapy was recommended. This one will be, again, 3 weeks from Thursday, which means my New Year's eve will be very, very quiet. In addition, my daughter suggested and I requested a punch biopsy of the neck swelling, as the CT scan was not able to be definitive as to whether there was cancer in the lymph node or not. I am hoping for the "Not" because if it is, that would mean that I am actually stage 4 rather than stage 3B and they would change the care from aggressively curative to palliative. The other bad news was that the Dr. thinks there has been damage to the vocal nerve.

Assuming we continue on the same pathway, though, it looks like radiation will be coming after the completion of chemo. And possibly an excision of the lower left lobe of my lung (lobectomy--bye bye G and C!). The surgeon would surgically remove that part of the lung. Not what this summer swimmer wants to hear, but I understand that the remaining 3 lobes compensate pretty well for the lost one.

To Fight Aloud is Very Brave
by Emily Dickinson

To fight aloud is very brave,
But gallanter, I know,
Who charge within the bosom,
The cavalry of woe.

Who win, and nations do not see,
Who fall, and none observe,
Whose dying eyes no country
Regards with patriot love.

We trust, in plumed procession,
For such the angels go,
Rank after rank, with even feet,
And uniforms of snow.

1 comment:

Jolene said...

Wishing you continued strength for this quiet struggle, Moe.