To: Family & Friends

Date: March 11, 2013

Subject: Tests lead to more tests

This was originally an email written to my family and friends on the date above. I decided to make these public in the event they may be helpful to someone in the future who is embarking on a similar journey to mine.

Hi Everyone–

Last Wednesday I underwent a PET scan so that they could look for cancer that might have spread to other parts of my body. So far the results are inconclusive, but they’ve identified an area of my liver, areas in both lungs and an area in my pelvis that they want to biopsy for more information (the liver and lungs are the common areas for colon cancer to spread to).

It’s seeming increasingly likely that one of these areas may have some cancer, moving me from Stage 3/3C to Stage 4. I’m disappointed but not entirely shocked at this – looking back at the list of symptoms for colon cancer, I may have been carrying this around with me for a year or two (or more).

So yeah, not the results we were hoping for from the PET scan.

My next steps now are:

– blood draw tomorrow so they can check for various markers (they took blood every few hours when I was in the hospital, you’d think they’d still have some around they could test…)
– port installation for IV chemo on Thursday morning (double yuck)
– biopsy hopefully sometime this week – perhaps Wed or Fri

Those last two items will be done under local anesthetic – I wish I could convince them to knock me out and do it all at once.

Once they have the biopsy results (apparently it takes a few days), we will meet with the oncologist again to discuss appropriate treatment options. I was planning to start the chemotherapy next Monday morning. I’m pretty sure that will be delayed. It’s more likely we’ll be meeting with the doctor early next week instead (perhaps treatment to start later in the week).

On the bright side, I’m feeling stronger and more “normal” each day. I’m no longer taking any pain pills and I’m regaining range of motion and strength. I’m still down ~20 pounds, but my appetite is normal and I’m eating as much as I can. I went into the office a few days last week (and plan to head back in for a half-day tomorrow and Wednesday) and so far I’m not wearing myself out.

I’m going to enjoy feeling good for the next day or two before the procedures and treatments start up again.

This post is part of the thread: Cancer – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.