Throat Blog — Update to CT Results

Ok, this post updates the results of the last CT scan to almost entirely good news. After talking over the results with my oncologist, he really believes that the 4 nodules that show as getting slightly bigger aren’t cancer. They are more than likely inflammation caused by aspiration. If they were cancer, they would be doing like the 5 definite tumors are doing…dying. And, cavitation in tumors this small have absolutely no significance other than indicating that the tumor is dying. So, rather than move to an immunotherapy after this round, he’s proposing we do “maintenance chemo” using only one of the drugs (cetuximab/Erbitux) every two weeks. Erbitux’s main side effect on me is the acne-like rash, but it really fades during weeks 2 and 3, so I expect that it will be a non-factor during maintenance.

The one shadow in the results is that I have a brain cloud. Well, he didn’t actually call it that…there is a small something (actually smaller than a BB…it only shows up in one “slice” of the CT) in my left prefrontal cortex. The oncologist thinks it is either a scan anomaly or something benign, but the radiologist recommended a MRI followup, so I’m getting that this evening at 7:15pm. Hope I can stay awake that long. Even if it is a tumor, the oncologist said that it can easily be knocked out with Gamma Knife technology with no hospital stay, no side effects, and no trouble.

Meanwhile, as I predicted, the Week 1 treatment is hitting me harder this round. Just worked a couple of hours each on Monday and Tuesday. Last night, I couldn’t get to sleep until after 3 AM. The skin on my head and face is pretty raw, and I couldn’t seem to find a comfortable position. I intended to sleep late, but between the cat and my normal circadian rhythm, woke up at my normal time, then kind of dozed in and out for a couple of hours before getting up at 8:30AM and coming on into work. Will be nearly a full day (I didn’t get here until about 10AM after stopping for breakfast), as I have to hang around on this side of the world for my MRI, anyway. Might need to close the door and nap…should have brought my binky. My mouth is extremely sore…been having to use the expensive “Magic Mouthwash” w/lidacaine. I think that is also starting to get better, now. Difficult to say…because my voice, such as it is, has reverted to mostly a whisper.

But, I expect to be back on an upswing by this weekend, and will only get better after that. I need to set up a regular mild workout to start getting my stamina back. Getting winded from standing up and walking across the room is not something I want to have hanging around for long. My appetite is still pretty minimal, but I also expect that to start turning around later this week. Managing a full (for me) breakfast, but then only have appetite for a very small lunch and/or (usually “or”) dinner. Got some Udon noodle soup staring at me right now that I should start working on…no way I can go until after the MRI tonight without eating some more.

So that is the update for the week so far. Mostly good news and possibly entirely good news. I’d better get started on that soup before it gets too cold.

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