14 April 2009


Decent cancer news from my CT scan

I don't write as much about my cancer here as I did a couple of years ago. That doesn't mean it's gone, or going away—I still have nine malignant metastatic tumours in my lungs, but my treatment has turned into a routine, something of a drudgery. I take a small but nasty pill every day, and have side effects that keep in me in the bathroom for an hour or more every night or two. Every two months I go to the B.C. Cancer Agency and lie down in a big doughnut-shaped machine for a CT scan, and then a few days later I meet an oncologist to get the results.

And today, for maybe the first time ever, the news is relatively positive. I usually walk into the clinic expecting bad news, such as that the tumours would have grown substantially. If that had been the case, I planned to stop the current drug and take a break, then try something else in a couple of months. Yet there aren't a lot of something elses anymore, so that would have been a bummer. Still, it's what I expected, since it has been the pattern. I had asked my wife to come with me, expecting I'd need her support.

But instead, today the doctor told us that there has been no measurable change in my lung tumours. No, they haven't shrunk, but they are no bigger either.

Apparently there is one lymph node they had noticed before (though I hadn't heard about it) which has grown a bit, but overall he called it called it "no change," i.e. the cancer has been stable over the past two months. That means the cediranib pills are probably doing something, at least keeping the tumours at bay, and while the side effects aren't fun, they're manageable. Otherwise, I feel pretty good.

So, more of the same treatment for now. Pills, and side effects, but a livable life. And we'll see how things are in two months. I'm encouraged: this is the first time that the lung metastases haven't grown significantly between scans. I can plan for the summer and maybe ride my bike some, and we can do our thing here at home. That's good enough for me today, and I have some spring in my step this afternoon.

Plus, it looks like I may see the Olympics come to town after all.

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Derek, I like the balanced approach you took to the news, but I also have to say that to all of us who care about you, it is somewhat good news. Many hugs, and look forward to hanging out sometime soon!
That's terrific news. Maybe should move in with your parents and rent out your house for a fortune during the Olympics?
Great news man
@Darren - yeah, just what we need, more complexity around our house!
This is really excellent news. I'm beginning to think I should get TV, just for the 2 weeks of the Olympics :)
Thinking of you and Airdrie and the girls.
Glad to read the good news.
Good to hear your positive news. Thanks for sharing with us Derek.
Excellent news Derek. I may even come and watch those Olympics with you!
Outstanding News!!!
Great news, Derek! Woohoo!!!
That's wonderful news, Derek. Excellent!
Dude, I'm a firm believer in the psychological components of illness, especially when you are already getting good treatment. Make some longer term goals:-)
Having never met you in person, I haven't commented before on your health related posts as I didn't want to seem insincere; but this is the perfect encouraging news for me to break the silence. Despite never having met you (yet), the internet and blogging have provided us with new tools to learn about and actually develop concerns and feelings for people that would have otherwise remained strangers. I am quite happy to hear your news and look forward to one day meeting you at some techie event and shaking your hand.