Thursday, May 19, 2011

Update: John's 6 month PET scan

Yesterday, John had an appointment with Dr. Sunita Nasta, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to get the results of the 6 month PET scan to see if his cancer has returned or not.  For those of you new to my blog, you can read John's full story here.  You can also read more of John's story by clicking on the Label, CANCER SUCKS on my sidebar.

** NOTE:  my brother Michael describes a PET scan (positron emission tomography)  as this:  they make you drink nuclear shit and then they x-ray you, similar to a CT scan.  If anything lights up, you probably have cancer.   

Anyway, about 2 weeks ago, John had his semi-annual PET scan done.  We drove to HUP for his appointment.
When he had his appointment in October 2010, Dr. Nasta leaped into the air as she popped into the room, with a big grin on her face and pronounced YOU ARE BETTER THAN EVER!!!  

Not so much this time.

Yesterday, she walked into the room, no smile on her face.  Oh shit.  This isn't good.

She told us that the scan showed 2 very small nodes, less than a centimeter in diameter each.  For those of us Americans who are not metric literate, a centimeter is about 1/3 of an inch. Teeny tiny.  

But they lit up and that's not good.  One in the groin, one in the neck.  They are so small she couldn't even feel them.

She asked if John had been sick recently or had a fever.  Nope.  He has lost about 10 pounds since his last visit.  He does get tired and often falls asleep when he gets home from work at 4 pm.  

So John had 2 choices.  He could get an ultra-sound and she'd then do a biopsy (on a teeny tiny node that she can't feel), or John could get another PET scan in 6 weeks to see if they grew and to also see if they light up again.  He opted to get the PET scan at the end of June (6 weeks will have gone by since his last one) and see her again on July 6.

There is a possibility that the lighting up was a fluke caused by a fever or virus that John wasn't aware of.  Or the scanner in the lab is new and maybe a little "enthusiastic" in his interpretation of the scan.  

So, now John has an appointment on June 28 for his scan and then an appointment on July 6 to get the results.  If the scan shows the nodes are cancerous again, John will have to start yet another round of Chemo.

We went to the Potbelly Sandwich Shop to grab a bite, since John had been fasting all day.  While we were there, we discussed it, calmly.  Again, we are taking a positive approach.  This is another battle in this war called Cancer.  He's not going to let this get him down.  Hopefully, the next test will be a good one and we can relax for a few months again.   If not, well, I guess I'll be driving the Schuylkill Expressway into Center City Philadelphia quite often again.   I think I should get my AAA membership renewed.


That Janie Girl said...

Oh, girl - I'm praying. xoxoxoxo

slommler said...

I am praying to, to hear a big YIPPEE in July...that he is clear!!

Matty said...

Chin up and smile. Keeping my fingers crossed for both of you. Good news the next time around.

Di said...

Keeping my figers crossed for good news next time. Hugs and hope, Di x

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

I'm keeping my fingers crossed too. I hate this.


dana said...

During my life, whenever there was "something there" I said "If it's not supposed to be there, I'm not going to watch it - get the damn thing OUT"

I assume he's tired of being on the carousel from hell and wants to buy the time instead of the ticket.

On the other hand, I have a stoopid question: IF she used ultrasound, she could track it and remove it. (they used wire on my nodes, traced the wire and removed them) so...if she removes them, would he STILL have to have chemo?

Joanie said...

Dana, I'm not sure. John chose to have the test redone, rather than the ultrasound and biopsy because he hates any kind of invasive procedure. Also, the nodes in question are very tiny.

♥ Braja said...

Oh boy Joanie....fingers crossed, prayers muttered, all hands on deck....we'll be here, again, don't worry ....

dana said...

I came back for news...and the "news" is that everything in the medical community is always a case of hurry up and wait.

otin said...

I hope that he's alright, and that expressway is a nightmare! Isn't it nicknamed "The Surekill expressway?"

Joanie said...

Yes, Otin! It is called The Surekill Exressway! I'm usually in bumper to bumper traffic from King of Prussia all the way to the University of PA (about a 15 mile journey. That's because I'm usually going during evening rush hour.

dana said...

Update please. Please!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Aww !@#$%!, Joanie. I'm sorry you two have to even think about this for a second but I'm sending positive thoughts your way and believing in the power of prayer.
xoxoxo jj

Joanie said...

I certainly will update after July 6, Dana, when John has his next scan and appointment with his oncologist. We're hoping it was a fluke and it's clear now.