Posted by: cg00n | May 27, 2009

Son of a lump!

So it turns out the lump was, in fact, a recurrence of melanoma.  Bummer.

There are several interesting things to learn from this:

  • Just because it doesn’t feel like a tumour does not make it benign.
  • Just because the doctors say “we don’t know what it is” does not mean that they have ruled out the possibility that it is exactly what they were looking for but wearing a disguise.
  • Just because the doctors do not say “we want to see you immediately” does not mean that the news is good or even neutral – see previous posting.  No smiley faces or gold stars on this path. report.
  • Just because you feel as though life is under control does not make it so.
  • All the mind work I have done over the last 12 months is really starting to pay off.

On the whole I think P and I took the news fairly well but it was still a bit of a shock.  I had to put my head between my knees for a minute or so before I could think about standing up and walking out.   Anyway, the next step is a PET scan (schedule pending) which I believe will take in my whole body although it may just cover the leg.  The current best-case scenario is that it will not show up any glucose-hungry spots (which could be tumours) that can’t be explained away.  This is possible, because the lump was in my lower leg between the original tumour site and the popiteal lymph nodes which were removed in September.  The lump may be the melanoma’s last gasp.

The next best-case would be that any other recurrences are confined to the leg.  In this case we will have to consider a “perfusion” (I think).  This is where they tap into the blood supply to the leg and deliver a fairly concentrated dose of chemo just to the leg.  Although there are some risks (of course) and some side effects (of course) this stands an 80-90% chance of killing off the remaining cancer cells.  It will also, in all probability, kill our summer vacation but that’s life.  It seems fairly likely that, if there is more melanoma growth, it is still confined to my leg but we’ll just have to wait for the PET scan results.

Worst case is that the PET scan reveals outbreaks in other parts of my body.  I’m not quite ready to think about that yet but you can bet it’s on my list of things to consider in the next few weeks.

Later in the day I had the repeat CT scan.  Now I am concerned that the previous scan really did show up a tumour near my lungs!  So much to worry about; so little time.  Anyway, we should know next Wednesday when we see the oncologist.  She may also suggest some other chemo treatments:  something to look forward to.

When A made it home we had a bit of a family meeting about the whole thing.  She is quite upset about it all but taking it fairly well.  In fact I can hear her humming to herself as she reads right now.  I think we’ll be OK.

Exciting, isn’t it? 🙂



  1. […] to see the general surgeon to discuss another small lump on my calf that, in all the excitement of last Wednesday, we had neglected to point out.  Being a little more coherent and receptive this time around we […]

  2. […] isolated limb perfusion which is really good news under the circumstances.  As I explained in the Son of a Lump posting, this means they hack into the major blood vessels supplying the leg and pump something […]

  3. […] to be healthy.  Of course I have to wait until the end of May to pass the first anniversary of my second diagnosis but I’ll deal with that when it comes along.  For now I am cautiously looking forward to a […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: