Likely More Cancer

Back on the 12th of last month, as part of the study I’m in, I had a CT scan that showed what could be another bit of cancer in my lungs; and a PET scan about a week later confirmed that the lump was “hypermetabolic’.

Today, I had a bronchoscopy and a biopsy of the new lump.  Since that required general anesthesia and I have no one to drive me home and watch out for me overnight, I was admitted to the hospital for “observation”.  If my last two biopsies are any indication, nothing will be observed; and I’ll be on my way home by late morning or early afternoon.

I’m not sure when I’ll find out the results of the biopsy, but it’ll be tomorrow at the earliest, maybe not until Monday.  I have appointments with the radiation and chemo oncologists next Thursday when I’ll decide what to do.  At my age, there won’t be any thoracic surgery.

Update, Friday the 19th:  one thing I forgot to mention is that they put me in a private room, which was convenient.  Also, I brought my laptop with me along with my WiFi hotspot, so I was able to mitigate some of the boredom.

There was one interesting bit of news on NBC’s Today:  Israel, in response to the Iranian attack, refrained from cranking it up to eleven.  I was surprised by that.

Around 10:15 this morning, the doctor who had the authority to release me deigned to show up; and since, just like after the first two bronchoscopies, I had no unexpected, or even uncomfortable, symptoms; so I was out by about 10:30.  At 12:30 as I write this, I’ve returned home, unpacked, and checked my regular mail, e-mail, and the blogs I frequent; so I’m now ready to resume my normal life. 😎

I still haven’t seen any results from the biopsy, but I don’t really expect that until Monday.

Update, 2024-04-25:  it’s definitely small-cell cancer that has shown up again, so the chemo routine will be mostly what I had before, the same drugs that I had no horrible response to; although they won’t be able to treat the low white blood cell side effect in the same way, so I might be also taking antibiotics to help guard against infection.  The chemo doctor also mentioned the possibility of immunotherapy, but they’ll wait on that depending on how the first round of chemo goes.

I’ll be getting lots more radiation, though:  twice a day, five days per week, for three weeks, starting on the 6th, a week from Monday.  I’ll probably get the first three-day round of chemo that first week; and it’s because of the radiation happening on the same days that they won’t be able to give me the Neulasta with the drugs that goose my bone marrow to counter the white blood cell deficiency.

I’ll know more when it actually happens, but I don’t expect any of the awful side effects of chemo since I tolerated it easily the last time.  I’ll be getting lots more radiation, but still low doses.  I think I remember being told that the dose is similar to what you get with a dental x-ray.

If my reaction to the chemo is no worse than it was the last time, the worst part of the business will likely be the drive to and from the hospital twice a day for three weeks.  One way takes me about half an hour on the best days; and since they want at least six hours between the first and second radiation treatments on each day, it’ll necessarily be scheduled to put me in rush-hour traffic to the hospital in the morning and home in the afternoon.  On the three chemo days, I’ll probably just hang around at the hospital all day; I’l take my laptop with me and be happy as a clam.  I’m not sure what I’ll do the other days.

I’ll keep readers informed about what goes on.  I’m not looking for sympathy (which, as I’ve said before, I don’t deserve); but maybe some folks might like to know what they might be up against (although I’m a statistic of one, of course, so YMMV).

My Next Excuse for Riding Trains

I won’t be blogging about riding trains until November when I’ll be traveling to Wrocław, Poland to attend a meeting of the ISO C++ standards committee, but I’m starting to think about it, and I’ve worked up a possible itinerary that includes a three-day conference in Berlin the week before and a one-day conference in Wrocław afterwards.

As I’ve said before, I like to fly Icelandair across the Pond because I like to get off the plane and stretch my legs in Keflavík.  Also, because travel to these meetings is the only thing I spend my fun money on, I’m fortunate to be able to afford Icelandair’s Saga class if I don’t try to afford other stuff that I don’t really want that much anyway.  (Business class on other airlines would probably be out of my price range; and besides, I wouldn’t want to sit in an airplane long enough to get all the way to Europe in one fell swoop.)

Unfortunately, Icelandair serves Berlin only five days per week, so the eastbound trip doesn’t work well.  I’m currently thinking about going a day late and missing almost all of the first day of Meeting C++.  I could fly into Frankfurt instead and take an ICE directly from the airport to Berlin; but then I’d have to return from Frankfurt to get the round-trip air fare; and getting from Wrocław to Frankfurt by train doesn’t look easy.

Update 2024-04-20:  I think I’ve found a way to get from Wrocław to the Frankfurt airport by train, and I like that better.  The link above is to the new version.  The version flying into and out of Berlin is still available here.

Nokia will be sponsoring a one-day conference called code:dive that’s still not officially announced, so I don’t know when or where it’ll be.  My rough itinerary assumes that it’ll be in the same hotel the Monday after the ISO meeting, which could be wrong; so the westbound trip is still subject to change.

Update, 2024-04-17:  I’ve added another option for the first leg that saves a long layover in Chicago.  That train originates in Kansas City and is often delayed on the former MoPac west of St. Louis, so I’m a bit leery about counting on it:  missing the very first connection would likely destroy the whole trip.

I checked out train 318’s arrival times in Chicago and the likelihood of making my connection back to the 1st of October, and it doesn’t look too dangerous; but I’m still not sure I’d want to chance it.  (If I look only at Mondays, which is the weekday I’ll be traveling, I never miss the connection on any of the 29 days; but it’s not clear whether the weekday actually has any effect.)  I probably won’t be making any reservations until the end of July or so, so I’ll check again then.  I’ll probably just stick with the Texas Eagle in any event since that will allow checking a bag all the way to New York.  (The Missouri-Illinois corridor trains don’t have checked baggage service.)

I’ve also been told that Nokia’s code:dive conference will definitely be on Monday, November 25th, but not at the Double Tree where the WG21 meeting will be.