I met with the interventional radiologist who did the cryoablation on the tumor in my lung a year ago. The purpose of this appointment was to evaluate the success of that procedure. The report is awesome. The activity level that is measured in the PET scan has been gradually going down, and was 0 in the last PET scan done on Dec. 17. The ablation was a total success. That tumor is dead.

But I received other disturbing information in this appointment. My oncologist had told me the results of the PET/CT scan indicated that my disease was “stable.” In this most recent appointment I learned that there is a new tumor in my chest, close to the lung, but probably a lymph node, that has been growing. When my oncologist said I was “stable,” he was taking an average. The lung tumor numbers were going down while the chest tumor numbers were going up. The average is stable.

I learned that once a cancer is metastatic, they assume cancer is everywhere and they no longer bother treating individual tumors. It wasn’t relevant to the oncologist that I have a growing tumor so he didn’t bother to tell me. I’m grateful that my cancer is slow growing. This is probably not an emergency, but I do feel a new urgency to be doing more.

This chest tumor gives me a new motivation to treat my cancer more aggressively. I feel inspired to take more seriously the recommendations from Dr. Alschuler. I’m grateful to have already started on that path and am feeling optimistic that it will make a difference.