Friday, April 21, 2017

You Take the Good with the Better Than Bad

I had a pet scan and an appointment with my oncologist this week. The pet scan showed what appears to be more evidence of progression at my primary lung tumor spot in my upper right lobe. We've been monitoring this since October 2016.
Lisa Moran, April 19, 2017
The next steps will be two biopsies. Blood work has already been sent to Guardant for a liquid biopsy. Hopefully, something will show up on this test. It's my second Guardant biopsy. The first didn't show anything, not even my EGFR gene mutation. I will also do a needle tissue biopsy.

With the biopsies, we are looking for any newly acquired lung cancer mutations and we need to confirm it is lung cancer progression instead of delayed radiation scarring. If it's cancer, I will be adding radiation to my treatment plan.

The scarring is a possibility. But my blood work numbers have continued to increase, a sign of progression. Plus, my radiation oncologist office called to schedule my radiation consultation. If you ask me, that's kind of putting the cart before the horse to schedule a treatment consult before my biopsy.

My oncologist said this is a good report. My targeted therapy, chemo pill, is still working throughout my body. There are no new nodules or tumors. There is only this one location of possible progression. Radiation treatments should take care of it.

Several people have referred to this as a bump in the road. It feels more like a detour. Either way, I'll be able to get back on track.

What can make a setback appointment a little more acceptable? A visit to an art exhibit to see paintings and drawings from Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Degas, Matisse and others. Masterworks is currently on display, for free, on campus at my cancer center. I'm thankful for the opportunity to see these works of art in person.

One other good thing happened at my appointment. I was presented an opportunity to participate in a clinical research trial. I submitted blood samples to help research and improve the future of liquid biopsies. Hopefully, one day, because of my participation in this trial, invasive, surgical biopsies could be a thing of the past.