Better to Know than Not

I just returned from I expected to be a routine follow-up visit to my oncologist. Instead, I learned that my CT scan from earlier in the week showed some troubling changes. Nothing major, necessarily, but of sufficient concern that my oncologist wants me to have a PET scan within the next week or so. And I am to return to see my oncologist in two weeks. By then, assuming I have had my PET scan, she will decide whether the changes (development of a nodule and enlarged area of “groundglass attenuation”) warrant the next step, a biopsy.

This process—CT scans showing areas of concern, followed by more CT scans and then a PET scan and then a biopsy—is not new to me. I went through it when my lung cancer was first detected. This time, though, the “nodule” is very small and the area of “groundglass attentuation” also is not terribly large. But the area of groundglass attenuation is growing; from 1.7 cm before to 2.0 cm now.

The Impression section of the CT scan report says :

“Findings may be infectious or inflammatory in etiology. Metastatic disease cannot be absolutely excluded.”

I wish and hope the next series of tasks will remove the “not.” Whatever the outcome of the process, even if it reveals my cancer has returned and is in the process of metastasis, it is better to know than not.

It is only 10:45 in the morning and I feel absolutely wiped out. I guess I did not sleep much last night; or, at least, not well. I think I’ll try to take a nap and get this crap off my mind. I hope the cancer has not returned.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes "Intimacy is never wrong. It can be awkward, it can be unsettling, it can feel dangerous, it can seem out of place, but it’s never wrong."― John Swinburn
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7 Responses to Better to Know than Not

  1. Colleen Boardman says:

    Oh, John, I wish you the very best.

  2. John says:

    Thanks, Pat. I will try to do just that. And I appreciate–really treasure–those with me in spirit.

  3. Pat Newcomb says:

    thank you for sharing this part of the journey – at this point it seems most “adult-like” to follow the science and learn what you can – you have many folks with you in spirit

  4. Thanks Robin, Linda, and District Denizen, for your thoughts and goodwill. Now that I’ve had my nap, I feel better. I will take it as it comes. There’s really no other choice, is there? So there you go!

  5. robin andrea says:

    I hope the PET scan shows that the nodule is not metastatic disease, John. We’ll be thinking of you and hoping for the very best. These are troubling and tiring times. Take care there.

  6. lindakblack says:

    I sure hope it hasn’t returned John. Sending up some prayers for you! Get some sleep because that is enough to keep awake.

  7. Concerned in the District says:

    We are with you in hoping that it has not returned. Feel free to reach out any time…

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