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CT results — pretty good.

November 2, 2009

Sorry I haven’t posted earlier. My Mom and I went out to dinner after the doctor’s appointment. Wally’s Chowder House. Yummy.

Here are the CT results. The nodule in the left upper lobe of my lung is 1mm smaller than it was 4 months ago (8mm now, 9mm then). The margin of error in the scans is 2mm, though, so this is considered stable rather than shrinking. So, no growth there, which is good. I’d rather have the thing gone completely, but I’ll take stable for now.

The radiologist said, “The liver, spleen, pancreas, gallbladder, adrenal glands and kidneys are unremarkable.” These are organs you don’t want a radiologist to find interesting so “unremarkable” is an A+++.

Here’s what the radiologist said about the lesion on my 8th right rib: “Sclerotic lesion right eighth rib, slightly more prominent when compared to 7/01/09. Fracture line is seen (HA! I told them it was injured but this is the first time anyone official has confirmed the injury…). Some of this could be due to healing vs. progression of metastasis.” There’s still cancer there as diagnosed by a biopsy 4 months ago, but this is great news.

We’re going to do a breast/torso MRI some time in the next month to follow up on these statements:

“Two nodular densities along the right breast have been present and stable from 10/01/08. Please correlate with physical examination and mammograms.”

and

“Nodular density posterior lower lobes bilaterally may represent dependent changes, attention on follow-up.” My Mom can explain this further, but in essence the lower lobes of both lungs are showing some thickening/sponginess. The thickening is the same on both sides, which usually doesn’t indicate cancer.  Cancer is uneven. I’ve had a cough for about a month, so that could be it. The MRI will show what it is in more detail.

Dr. Ingber is going to follow up with another radiologist just to get some clarification on some of the readings, so I could have more information to add later.

As far as how long I’ll be on chemo, no certainty yet. Sigh. We’ll wait for the MRI, which might give more information, but it looks like another 3 to 5 months before we know for sure.

I’d really rather not be on chemo permanently, so pray that this chemo does the trick for several more years and that between now and a time in which it comes back there will be some stunning new developments in treatment — maybe even a cure.

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. Colleen permalink
    November 2, 2009 10:23 pm

    Thank you, Jill, for a report of your appointment today. We will keep praying and we are so proud of you for your desire and hard work to get well. A friend of ours at church has a six year old little boy who is getting chemo for cancer and I was telling him about your treatment and tests. He asked me to tell you that God has a plan for your life and he would be praying for you. Please pray for Avery too. Thank you. God bless you and hello to Hank and Daniel. Love, Colleen

  2. Lisa Welch permalink
    November 2, 2009 10:36 pm

    Keep fighting the good fight, Jill! You’re winning!

  3. Mamesy permalink
    November 3, 2009 6:49 am

    Thanks for the unremarkable update Jill!

    You won’t be on chemo permanently, good grief.

    So glad you and your Mom had a nice dinner.

    Colleen, tell Avery next time you see him that someone in Canada is praying for him.

    Bless you all.

  4. Lisa permalink
    November 3, 2009 7:22 am

    Wonderful news! It wasn’t till recently that I knew just how great stable can mean 🙂

    Continued prayers!!!

  5. November 3, 2009 8:42 am

    Yay!! Maybe they’ll decide to change up your drugs so stable goes to “shrinking”. But I’m with Lisa — stable is GREAT NEWS!!
    xoxo

  6. Resa permalink
    November 3, 2009 9:27 am

    Very good and encouraging news! You’ve got this much chemo behind you, so this next stretch doesn’t seem so far away as it would have in July.

    Wasn’t there some discussion about removing the rib and then their deciding not to due to what they found in your brain at the time? Is that still on the table, or is kind of a moot point at this point?

  7. Annette permalink
    November 3, 2009 1:09 pm

    We love being unremarkable! Good results Jill. You’re doin’ good!

  8. mom permalink
    November 3, 2009 1:56 pm

    I will try to explain what I heard Dr. Ingbar tell Jill and me about the sponginess in Jill’s lungs. The MRI will show more about that. There may be some plugs in the alveoli in the bottom of her lungs causing a problem in coughing and the fluid or sponginess there. Cells may be cancer cells that haven’t “learned their lesson” yet and died. They will. Or may be plugs of mucus from a cold or infection. Infections can occur with the chemo treatment, you all know that. The answer for us all is to keep on praying for Jill and to keep a positive attitude up for and with her. She is reaching the top of the hill and the slide down the other side might be as difficult as was the climb up the side she just did and is still doing.Keep up the cheeriness all you people with positive outlooks and as I said, the prayers. Ask me anything else from the medical field and I will try to answer. There is a name given to this problem for Jill and the docs will discuss how to treat it.

    Love from Mom

  9. Mame permalink
    November 4, 2009 9:00 am

    Jill’s Mom, thank you for explaining all that. It helps to understand – in layman’s terms – what is going on and even better is that there is treatment.

    Positive energy, cheery vibes and lot’s of love are coming your way.

    Now if someone could explain what a blue Noga is and why they make recliners out of them my world will be all that much more enlightened. 🙂

  10. mom permalink
    November 5, 2009 8:22 am

    How about a medical joke? Comes from my nurses Calendar. This is titled Healthy Choices: “There was a patient with liver failure who had recently switched from beer to vodka. When I asked why he switched, he matter-of-factly replied, ‘I drink vodka with orange juice and I figured the orange juice would be good for me.'” Anyone else with a good one?

  11. November 5, 2009 1:22 pm

    Henry and Freda were patients in a mental facility. As they were walking by the swimming pool one day, Henry fell in and sank like a rock to the bottom. After looking at him for a few moments, Freda jumped in and pulled him out of the water, saving his life.

    Freda’s caregivers talked it over, and decided that her actions showed her mental condition had improved greatly. They congratulated her on her recovery, and said she could pack to go home.

    Later that day, they came to her with some bad news. “I’m afraid Henry was found dead in his room, having hanged himself with his belt. He must have really wanted to end his life.”

    “Oh, he didn’t hang himself,” Freda replied. “I put him up there to dry. Now, when can I go home?”

  12. Lisa permalink
    November 5, 2009 2:29 pm

    I’ll join in… bought this card the other day as my Dad’s cancer was just declared stable, but now my Mom has a tumor. I live in the country and thought it was pretty funny 🙂

    Medical Definitions for Rednecks

    Barium – what the undertaker does to ’em once the doctors are through with ’em

    Cauterize – To have gotten noticed by a woman

    Cyst – To give someone in need a helpin’ hand

    Dilate – It sure beats dyin’ early

    Impotent – Significant and distinguished

    Node – To have been acquainted with someone in the past

    Pap smear – To insult or belittle your own father

    Pathology – The study of trails

    Rectum – Crashed ’em and totaled ’em

    Tumor – Not just one more

    X rayed – For adult audiences only

  13. Mame permalink
    November 5, 2009 6:28 pm

    LOL! Too funny!

    Here’s one I hope isn’t too offensive.

    An old man goes to the doctor for his yearly physical, his wife tagging along. When the doctor enters the examination room, he tells the old man, “I need a urine sample, a stool sample and a sperm sample.”

    The old man, being hard of hearing, looks at his wife and yells: “WHAT?”

    “What did he say? What’s he want?”

    His wife yells back, “He needs your underwear.”

  14. Lisa permalink
    November 5, 2009 7:19 pm

    OMG Mame — that one caught my funny bone surely 😉 I’ll have to use that one and I think it is funny. Actually, have to share that one with my Mom too as I know she’d laugh her hiney off.

    I’ve found illnesses in my family and with friends, like Jill, have only made my sick sense of humor worse!

    I know there is research out there at how important humor is to healing and at least I keep telling myself that 🙂

  15. Jill permalink
    November 6, 2009 4:18 pm

    Hi, all. Thanks for the thoughts and laughs. Bev, say hello and thanks to Avery.

    I’ll post more this weekend if I get a chance.

  16. November 9, 2009 9:12 am

    And now for something completely different…

    Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
    I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
    But when I start to tell them,
    They think I’m telling lies.
    I say,
    It’s in the reach of my arms
    The span of my hips,
    The stride of my step,
    The curl of my lips.
    I’m a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That’s me.

    —From “Phenomenal Woman,” by Maya Angelou

  17. (Jakk) Kim permalink
    November 11, 2009 7:29 pm

    Hey Jill. I’ve been keeping up to date from the “Lisa’s”! Just want you to know that I’ve been holding you firm in thought and heart. (((Jill))) You’ll always be Mountain Jill to me! Which, by the way, you might find interesting, that we’re considering buying a house/land in the Santa Fe area in the next year, so maybe we’ll be close enough to have a visit!

    Take good care, xoxo Kim.

    • Jill permalink
      November 12, 2009 8:37 am

      I’d love to visit you in Santa Fe. I wouldn’t need a passport, and NM is lovely. It’s about 200 miles difference between Seattle and Santa Fe than your present location, and I wouldn’t need to get my super-duper driver’s licesnse as I would to get to Canada. (Sea) Jill

      • (Jakk) Kim permalink
        November 15, 2009 12:24 am

        Ok, so maybe you ***won’t*** always be Mountain Jill to me! I feel like a doofus and YOU are so polite and smooth! BUT I still care… Forgive me? (((SEAJill))).

        (Duh, she says smacking herself on the forehead, where do Lisa and Lisa live? Colorado? No… )

        xoxo Kim.

  18. (Jakk) Kim permalink
    November 15, 2009 12:30 am

    And, just so you know, you are the Jill I remember, writing, talking with you and Mame about home based business ideas… I’m so embarassed!

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