Saturday, July 30, 2011

portable monitor

I was able to remove the portable heart monitor today at 5pm. What a relief! I sure hope that it recorded some worthwhile information.

Friday, July 29, 2011

BP and cholesterol

Have you ever heard that your cholesterol was "way too low"? I imagine few people have. Well...apparently, mine is way too low. I stop taking my vytorin and go back for a checkup in a few weeks.

Have you been told that your pulse is too low. Yep, that's me too. Referred to a cardiologist today. Took me off a BP med. I am wearing a fashionable 24-hour portable EKG. I go back in a week or so for a stress echo test.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20 CT

Chest/abdomen CT today. Dr J said all looks OK with the CT and bloodwork.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Worked out the schedule re brain lesion treatment. New MRI 8/15. See Dr H and Dr W (radiosurgeon) on 8/16. Hope to do gamma knife radiosurgery the week of 8/22 so that we can, hopefully, be ready for our Sept trip.

Monday, July 18, 2011

spine MRI results

I just rec'd the following information from Dr H - radiation oncologist:

"I was just now able to get a final radiology report signed off.... I had looked at the images last week, seen nothing to give evidence of cancer in the spine, and was only awaiting final confirmation. The official report agrees with my impression (there is no evidence of cancer in the spine). My plan then would be a short interval MRI of your brain, with a tentative plan to use radiosurgery on the one new area and any other metastases that seem to be growing. The short interval scan is because several of the metastases were indeterminate (they looked slightly fuzzier, but not necessarily actually larger, and I want to see if they should be treated or not). Could you please remind me of your vacation plans? I want to schedule the MRI with enough time to do a GK treatment prior to your trip."

So, not evidence of cancer in the spine.  Looks like they will go forward with the Gamma Knife radiosurgery.

Monday, July 11, 2011

another tumor

Well, it appears that things are still evolving. Talked with Dr H today regarding the brain MRI done last Wednesday. He advised me that there appears to be another spot - not actually in my brain - but, in the fluid by my brain stem. They must now wait to decide what to do about the brain lesions until I have a full spine MRI to determine if the cancer has spread down my spine. If there is a spread to the spine, Gamma Knife radiosurgery will not be an option. If there isn't a spread to the spine, they can still consider the Gamma Knife. So...Wednesday I will be spending a long late afternoon getting the spine MRI. They will do the spine scan in 3 sections - each about as long as the brain MRI - about 35 minutes each. I will be given a chance to sit up and stretch between sections.

Over the weekend, Dr E indicated that finding cancer on the gallbladder shouldn't impact my continued participation in the Crizotinib study. We go forward with the regularly scheduled chest and abdomen CT next Wednesday.

Friday, July 8, 2011

7/6 MRI

I spoke with Dr H (radiation oncologist) this morning. Apparently, a few of the brain lesions appear to have possibly grown a little. He said they were "fuzzy". Don't think that is a technical medical term. He is going to review the MRI with a neurologist and get back to me. Options might be another follow-up CT in a couple weeks. Or, they may decide to go forward with radiation gamma knife surgery - which has apparently been the next course of action for the brain lesions that were identified more than 2 years ago.

Also learned today that the cancer on the gallbladder is adenocarcinoma - the same type of cancer that is in my lungs.  The Research RN indicated that this should not impact my continuing on the crizotinib lung cancer study drug.

So...I wait for the feedback from Dr E regarding the gallbladder cancer and from Dr H regarding the brain lesions.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

gallbladder cancer

I got a call today from the surgeon who removed my gallbladder last Friday,  7/1. He had just rec'd the pathology report for the gallbladder. It turns out that the gallbladder had cancer tissue. So...I guess this means that the cancer has spread to at least one additional organ. I don't know exactly what this will mean. Dr M will contact Dr E (my oncologist) to ensure that he sees the pathology report. I guess I wait to hear back. Dr M had indicated to Jill that he had removed a very inflamed gallbladder with lots of stones and stringy stuff attached to it. I suppose that might have been the cancer. He indicated that he had removed it all. Now I wait for direction and for the results of the brain MRI this past week.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

gallbladder & more

Well, I just noticed it has been a while since I posted. Since my last post, we went to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for Jill's nephew's wedding. The wedding was beautiful - on the beach, great weather - a little hot, breeze off the ocean. During the trip, I did had another gallbladder attack. This one was a little milder and I was able to handle it with the pain meds I had been prescribed at the ER. After this 2nd attack, I shifted to eating virtually nothing but fruit. And the resort offered lots of pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, mango and papaya. So...fruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I managed to not have a 3rd attack.

When we arrived home after a grueling travel experience, I was visited by Montezuma's revenge. Over the next week, my bowels were pretty much evacuated. It turns out that around 8 from the wedding were also afflicted.

On July 1, I went for scheduled gallbladder surgery. My gallbladder was removed using laparoscopic surgery. So, I have a small incision in my belly button where they inserted a light and camera and 2 small incisions where they inserted surgical instruments and removed the gallbladder. Apparently, the gallbladder was extremely inflamed, full of gallstones and had lots of "stringy things" on it. He removed it all. Surgery started at 2:00 and I was home by 6:30. I was told that recuperation would be 5 to 10 days. I've been frustrated because I had hoped to be back to normal more quickly. Today is 5 days and I am now starting to feel better.

This morning, I had a trip to the Cancer Center for a brain MRI. This is a regular follow up scan. Jill drove since I am not yet sure that I should. My belly felt every single bump in the road. I didn't take a pillow; so, I held my belly as much as I could. The MRI was on time and the scan went as usual. I have had many brain MRIs; so, it was pretty much as I expected. Head in a cage. Loud BOOM, BANG, BUZZ, HUM, CLANG, etc. After about 45 minutes, we were on our way home. I, again, felt even the most minor bump. I see Dr H regarding the MRI at the end of July.

I was exhausted when we got home. I immediately took a hour and a half nap. I will need to consider whether I am ready to drive to work tomorrow. It's the same route and distance as the Cancer Center. And I probably can't expect to take a 90 minute nap at the office.

Next lung CT is later this month. I expect to hear that all continues to go well with the Crizotinib.