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).


  1. Katydid says

    I also wish you good luck and the most limited pain. As long as I’m wishing, I wish you a good overnight and sufficient attention from the nurses.

    A few years back, a good friend had some emergency abdominal surgery. She was sent home the same day. The hospital demanded she not be left alone, and her observer (me) was given a long list of what to look out for–if any had occurred, I was to call 9-1-1 immediately.

    The thought occurred that if she were so medically fragile, WHY was her care being outsourced to someone with no medical training? (Answer: so insurance could save a buck.)

    I feel that way about your case–should something have gone wrong overnight, wouldn’t a hospital be the best place for you? From that perspective, I’m glad they kept you.

    Let us know how you’re doing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *