Latest test results

Dr. Ensminger, the University of Michigan oncologist that I saw a couple of weeks ago, called me today to review the results of my CT scan. (Coincidentally, two copies of the CT scan report also came in today’s mail.)

The bottom line: The CT scans of my chest, abdomen and pelvis do not show any spread of the cancer, although the scan picked up two “nodules” on my lungs. The nodules were about 3mm, or about half the size of a BB, Ensminger said.

He didn’t seemed all that concerned about the nodules. He said about half of the people who get a CT scan at University of Michigan show something in their lungs, and many times it means nothing; it  could be a scar from childhood bronchitis or other illness for all they know. He also said the nodules were very tiny, which seemed to suggest it wasn’t a big deal.

However, he said I should get another CT scan in six months. If those nodules are bigger then — well, then there might be concern. But for the most part, he said he thought the results were very encouraging and that once I get through chemo, it should be smooth sailing.

Reading the CT reports was a sort of a weird thrill. My aorta and great vessels are “normal in diameter”; my pulmonary arteries were “unremarkable”‘; my heart is a normal size. I have something that might be a cyst in my left kidney. My bladder is “normal in size and contour.” My bowel had “prominent gas.” 

The report’s conclusion: “No CT findings to suggest metastatic disease in the abdomenor pelvis. There are no focal liver lesions, adrenal masses or enlarged lymph nodes.”

U-M also sent me three CD copies of my CT scan. The CD contains 348 images of my innards, in thin horizontal slices going from my neck to my pelvis.  Scrolling through the images allows for the sensation of traveling down inside through my torso. Ohhh, there’s a cross-section of my ribs! My liver! My tummy fat! 

According to the radiology report, the lung nodules can be seen on images 121 and 154. Harold and I both looked at those images, and have no idea of where those nodules might be. “Why can’t we see it?” Harold grumbled. “That’s why radiologists earn $600,000,” I said sweetly.

Whatever. Pictured above is image 121. You’re looking at a cross section of the middle of my lungs. The white spots forming an oval around my lungs are cross sections of my ribs. My spine is the white blob at the bottom of the scan.


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