Posted by: cg00n | March 18, 2009

And the Winner Is …

… me.  Saw the oncologist today.  She is absolutely the sweetest lady you could imagine.  Any sweeter and I’d have to take insulin shots before the meeting.  Anyway, her interpretation of the radiologist’s report of last week’s CT scan is that everything looks good.  Well, almost everything:

There is a small apparent soft tissue nodule, possibly a lymph node superior to the inferior pulmonary vein on the right.  This was not visible on the original CT and could reprent a small lymph node.

. . .

The only finding of note which is a change from the original scan in May 2008 is that of a possible right hilar lymph node measuring 14mm.  There may be some value to performing follow up bone scan.

A hilar lymph node is one that serves the lungs and heart, in this case the one on my right hand side.  As far as I can tell 14mm is not outrageously large and the oncologist certainly didn’t seem very concerned.  Her feeling is that what the radiologist saw was probably some artifact of the scanning process which (at least in this case) really hasn’t enough resolution to produce a definitive result regarding objects of this size.  However, just in case it is not merely an artifact, I will get another CT scan (of just the chest:  no ghastly gravis to drink, yea!)  in about 3 months.  Presumably the rationale for not doing another one immediately is that whatever it could be isn’t big enough to be a worry for a while yet and in three months we will find out if it is gone, the same or bigger which will be useful information however it turns out.  Besides which, as the oncologist pointed out, they don’t want me glowing in the dark from X-Rays.  She also says a bone scan is not likely to be useful.

By way of reassurance she told me of another patient a few months ago who had a CT scan.  The reporting radiologist reported that certain areas of the scan showed definite signs of cancer.  The oncologist got a second opinion from another radiologist who dismissed the first report but identified other areas of the scan that were highly suspicious.  A PET scan was then ordered which ultimately revealed nothing identifiable as a problem anywhere.  Yes, folks, we have the technology but we have yet to understand it.

My take is that it ain’t worth worrying about.  I’ve been feeling great and there are enough weasle words in the report (possibly, could, may be …) to make it sound like someone is covering their ass.  If there is any doubt in the interpretation, better to make it a false positive than a false negative.

Spring is showing signs of arriving soon and I’m looking forward to it with anticipation.



  1. Great news. You seem to be beating the odds … once again doing your own thing and not following the status quo. I’d say this is working well for you. Said hello to a friend of yours at Safeway today.

  2. […] is shaping up to be quite busy, in fact, because I have a repeat of the CT scan that showed “… a possible right hilar lymph node …” which the oncologist […]

  3. […] was running late.  We really wanted to hear the results of the CT scan since it might confirm the earlier one that appeared to show an infected lymph node in my chest.  Waiting in the exam room for the better […]

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