June 15, 2019
It’s not like I didn’t know this could happen.
It’s been pretty damn easy the past six months not having any cancer treatment. While it was strange only going into the infusion room to get my port flushed, this was purely maintenance. Things were looking good. An unplanned CT scan eleven weeks ago, because of issues which turned out to be blood pressure medication related, confirmed we were on the right track and we decided to stick with the planned six month PET/CT on June 11th and throw in the annual brain MRI for good measure.
“Your MRI is clean!” reported my Super Ninja Most Wonderful Oncologist.
“That’s AWESOME!” I replied. “How about the PET?”
Turns out the PET revealed two very small nodules near the left side of my bladder in the peritoneal cavity, each with slight metabolic uptake as well as slight metabolic uptake along the posterior margin of my uterus. “Well that doesn’t make sense…lung cancer doesn’t usually metastasize there.” we mused.
“Let’s get some additional eyes on this.” said SNMWO.
In short, I have a date with the Interventional Radiologist for a biopsy. It seems one of the nodules is fairly superficial and it shouldn’t be too difficult to get a tissue sample. Even though I would forgo furthering cancer research for zero disease, my cancer mutation is so rare that it isn’t in the COSMIC* database and there is interest in developing a cell line with a portion of said sample. While this research might not impact me, it could have potential future benefit for others. Passing it forward, doing my small part to help eradicate a disease that kills approximately 400 people every single day.
I’m not panicking, in fact I’m strangely calm.
We can see the radiologic changes in the lung from SBRT in January, but the lung itself looks good and the rest of my scan is clean. Choosing to focus on this golden tidbit of light and hope is now familiar, for I’ve been down this road before. Did I mention I’m one month short of my three year-stage four diagnosis date? Three years can seem awfully long…and awfully short.
Most importantly, I can still visualize a world without cancer. Its right there…can you see it?
*COSMIC is an online database of acquired mutations found in human cancer. Somatic mutations are those that occur in non-germline cells that are not inherited by children. COSMIC, an acronym of Catalogue of Somatic Mutations In Cancer, curates data from the Cancer Genome Project at the Sanger Institute. Wikipedia.