Sunday, August 11, 2013

Three Year Cancerversary!

This month is my 3 year anniversary of being diagnosed with carcinoid cancer.  Since then, my tumors have not progressed at all.  I am still asymptomatic.  I believe my case is somewhat unusual because my primary tumor has not been found and I have one very large tumor that is hanging from my liver and in front of my right kidney.  This tumor measures 8x10x12 cm and is pressing on my small intestine, causing an indentation that can be clearly seen on a CT scan.  It is this tumor that could cause a bowel obstruction. I also have other tumors scattered around my abdomen and pelvis.

This large tumor gets the biggest reaction from doctors.  It is quite mobile and sometimes doctors can feel it and other times they can’t.  That’s kind of weird!  The general reaction is that they have not seen such a large tumor in that location before.  These tumors have been with me quite a while and I have no idea when they started or continued to grow.  I’m just happy that there has been no progression since my diagnosis. 

I re-read my post from last August writing about my second anniversary. I am amazed at how far I’ve come in the past year in terms of improving upon my medical care and getting clear and articulate answers to questions concerning my treatment.

Last August I was questioning everything about my treatment including why I was taking Sandostatin and the justification for a large surgery when I had no symptoms.  Now I have a whole new team working with me and it has been much better in terms of information flow.  I feel a lot less stressed about my care, even though I’m about to have a big surgery.

This week has been a busy one in my cancer life.  On Friday I had a CT scan, an appointment with Dr. Chan, a meeting with a nutritionist and then my Sandostatin shot.  Dr. Chan said my CT looks stable with no changes. 

I also met another carcinoid patient from the Carcinoid CafĂ© on Facebook.  We had been messaging each other for the past two weeks. She had an emergency appointment Friday at Dana Farber so we met in the radiology waiting area.  It was nice to meet in person.  Both her CT and mine came back stable with no growth in tumors.  Good for us!  On to year 4 for me.