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Steve Daniels

Reasons for Hope

2 min read

I was hoping updates on the status of my treatment might be over. Apparently, that will wait a little longer.

I had a CT scan last Wednesday then met with my chemo oncologist on Thursday and my ENT on Friday.

The good: My cancerous lymph node continues to shrink but not as fast as we hoped. It was 2.5cm at the time of my PET scan (about five weeks ago) and is not 2cm. When my ENT took a peak down my throat he was able to see my tonsils were completely gone (Yay!). 

The bad: That is not the rate of destruction and absorption they expect for this type of cancer. Based on this scan, my doctors were able to convince my insurance to allow another PET two weeks from now. Out of an abundance of caution, we are starting the process of scheduling and preparing for surgery three weeks out. If the PET is favorable we will cancel the surgery but better to plan for the worst. Both doctors are very certain that removing the lymph nodes will clean up any remaining cancer cells. ENT was also able to see my throat is stil almost completely closed. He said that could still be inflammation but is going to have me see a GI. In some cases, radiation cause the muscles around the larynx area to constrict and not release. They can use a balloon to stretch those muscles back out. It is possible they will do that the same time as the surgery to remove my lymph nodes.

The best news is this: Whether we get a better PET scan or have the surgery, both doctors feel very sure I am on the road to full cure of the cancer. We hoped for the easy path but my body just hasn't cooperated. So, as with most things in life, we will push through the tougher path.

Totally unrelated to my treatment update but and even better reason for hope. I am feeling well enough that I wnt for an hour long walk in the neighborhood this morning. On that walk, I observed the following political yard sign result:

Beto - 7
Cruz - 0

Like I said in the title, reasons for hope.