Archive for CT scan

No News is (you know) & A Mea Culpa

Posted in cancer, Cancer Life, testicular cancer with tags , , , on September 18, 2009 by lawler

First: the much anticipated September check up came back ALL CLEAR. The CT scan looked good, my tumor markers are holding at the slightly elevated levels they have maintained for months, and my white blood count is still low at 2.8. The key to that statement is that I am STILL CANCER FREE, and as far as I’m concerned, after hitting this milestone, and passing through my first cancer-free September in three years, there’s no looking back now.

As many of you know — especially if you read this blog — I was profoundly unhappy with my Madison oncologist, Dr. Arbaje recently because of some things he said and the letter he wrote for our adoption dossier. I took the opportunity yesterday while meeting with him to confront him on both issues, telling him frankly what I thought about his choice of words in our last appointment and my disappointment with his letter compared to the one provided by my Indianapolis oncologist, Dr. Einhorn (I brought copies of both letters for him to keep).

After explaining to him that Dawn and I were offended by his “single parent” remarks, he admitted that he regretted how he answered our question and sincerely apologized. We had a very good conversation about the whole situation. He shared with me his affinity for Dawn and I and how he wished “he could take it back.” The conversation, and his willingness to engage in it reminded me of why I like and respect him so much — as well as why his actions bothered Dawn and I in the first place. It was unexpectedly harsh and insensitive behavior from someone we knew to be exceedingly kind and sensitive. He even called Dawn personally later in the day to apologize to her.

As I left the appointment, he thanked me for talking to him about the issue. “It would have been very easy for you to simply select a new doctor and not deal with this, and I appreciate that you brought it up with me and that we talked about it,” he said.

It was a difficult day to face, but one that was both a relief and a reminder of the good things that misfortune and misunderstanding can actually bring into our lives.

[insert header here]

Posted in cancer, Cancer Life, testicular cancer with tags , , , , , , on September 22, 2008 by lawler

I just couldn’t muster a clever (or not-so-clever) header for this post — unless you consider the header I came up with clever. Frankly, it’s difficult to admit that I’m back here writing again on a semi-regular basis. But I am, and here’s why:

Dr. Arbaje called me today hours before I was to show up for an appointment with him to tell me that there is in fact a tumor in my abdomen about 3 centimeters wide. He cannot tell if it is associated with one of my lymph nodes or not at this point.

The next step is what my doc calls “restaging.” In other words he needs to deduce what stage my cancer is now in — this means tests. I am currently awaiting a call from his nurse (my nurse) Kim to let me know when she has arranged appointments for an Ultrasound on my remaining testicle, a PET scan, and an MRI. These tests are being done to determine if the cancer has spread beyond the tumor that has been found already in my abdomen, and will dictate the course of treatment.

If no other signs of cancer are found in my body, Dr. Arbaje has told me that I will need to at least have surgery on the tumor in my abdomen to remove it.

That’s what I know, and I suppose that’s all I have to say for now.

Thank you all for your love, support, prayers, thoughts, positive energies and vibes.

On the Inside

Posted in cancer, Cancer Life, testicular cancer with tags , , , , , on September 19, 2008 by lawler
Mike's insides from today's CT scan

An image of Mike's insides from today's CT scan

This might be odd for some, but here I am. I went today for my fifth or sixth (who’s counting anymore?) CT scan this morning — and, since I am seeing my oncologist on Monday to discuss the results, they sent me home with the images, which happened to be on a cd. I thought I’d pop it in my computer to see if I could see them, and I could. I haven’t looked very close at them, because I’m not a doctor, and I’m not sure what’s supposed to be there, and what isn’t. So, I’ll leave the speculating to the professionals.

No matter what my doc sees in these images, I’ll probably be heading for a PET scan sometime next week.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and words (and prayers).