New issue from follow-up – 06/16/17

New issue arrives, but it will pass. It will be addressed and it will passJune 16 was the follow-up review the spot noticed in my lung 3 months ago. As always, making the trip down to Victoria was overshadowed by the usual concern as to whether I would be getting the all-clear once again, or if this would be the time I get an expiration date.

Prior to these visits, I am usually able to view the results of the blood tests and CT Scans before the trip and am able to prepare somewhat for the conversation that will take place. This time the results hadn’t been posted ahead, so I arrived at the appointment with no chance to prepare for what I might hear. Naturally, there was a new issue that we need to address.

I have been feeling fine all along and had no reason for concern, but the doubt was there anyway. The appointment lasted all of ten minutes. After the appointment, we hooked up with my step-son for lunch. All told, an hour and a half, however, it was still a seven and a half hour day. It took the usual two hours to get from home to the Cancer Clinic, but the actual drive home took four hours. There was construction all the way back with the delays usually associated with that. It was indeed a long day.

The spot on the lung is gone

As for the appointment itself, the spot on the lung that had initiated the three-month follow-up instead of the usual six was gone. There was no sign of whatever it had been. That in itself was a huge relief. The Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm that had been steadily growing seems to have now stabilized. The swollen Lymph nodes are still swollen, but stable. Those will still need to be watched. The blood work was normal, well, my normal. Overall, everything that had been of major concern, while most still present, are behaving. There is never a time I go to the Doctor these days where there wasn’t at least one new issue that needs attention.

The oncologist did note, however, that it appears the area around the stoma is herniated, a new issue. That is a concern and she has referred me to a general surgeon in Nanaimo. It is something that has the potential to be serious, and it will require surgery to repair. As soon as I am contacted by the surgeon, plans will be made to have that addressed. It is funny how the mind works though. This, with all its inherent danger, we consider minor. There is nothing minor about being opened up for repairs, but we are of a mindset these days, where if it isn’t cancer it’s minor. A little cavalier granted, but in our minds, it is so much better than the other things that could have been on the table at the appointment.

Meet with the surgeon soon

I expect that sometime in the next few months I will be meeting with the surgeon and we will be setting a date for the surgery to address the “new issue”. I have no idea how long the recovery from this surgery will be. That is another thing we will learn as we progress through all this. My next follow-up with the Oncologist is in six months. I am back to the normal follow-up time frame; still looking for the ultimate goal of only annual checkups. Onwards and upwards. One step at a time, one day at a time. Still fighting, and bladder cancer free.

About SM Dougan

Writer/novelist. I have been diagnosed with Stage 3 bladder cancer and small lymphatic lymphoma. I have had a radical cystoprostatectomy and adjuvant chemo therapy for the bladder cancer.
This website has been created document my experiences as I go through the process in the hope of providing encouragement to others in a similar situation.
For more information about me and my novels, visit my author website

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