Monday, July 07, 2008

Dumbbells: They Ain't Just for Working Out

Well, it is a mixed bag of news. Here it is, as best as I can relate it:

Got to the doctor this AM. Met with Dr. Goldman who had not read our ct report prior to our arrival. I say this because when he came in, he was just shocked to hear that Eva had another something. Dr. Weinthal had done the visit last month and I guess did not relate it to Dr. Goldman.

He was at a loss as to what to say because he had not seen the actual film and could not get his head wrapped around exactly what was happening. So, the wonderful man that he is, he called the radiologist and asked if the four of us (Dr. Goldman, Jon, Eva and I) could go down and look at the film ourselves.

The radiologist had all three ct's up on the screen. First of all, that tumor back in February was HUGE! I am so glad that no one showed me that before because I could not have handled it at the time. It had shoved her lungs and her heart all to the side. Amazing she was able to function with that giant thing inside of her.

Then, we saw the other tumor. As it turns out, the radiologist saw this tumor back in February. In looking at the film, Dr. Goldman said that it appeared to be an offshoot of the original tumor. A dumbbell-shaped tumor, if you will. The reason no one saw it (other than the radiologist who neglected to put it in the report), is that it was on the left side. It was so small it did not show up for oncologists or surgeons to see with their naked eyes and since they went in on the right side, it was hidden on the left.

Dr. Goldman did tell us that they absolutely would not have done anything differently if they had known about the tumor stretching out to the other side. They don't do double thorocotomy's very often, apparently, so they would have left it.

The only thing that would have changed is that Jon and I would not have been blind-sided last month at the appointment. No need to get bitter about that, though, as the news is ok.

So, that tumor is now growing. Very slowly, but growing.

So, what is the next step, you ask? Well, we're not sure (surprise!) We are waiting for the urine test (the catecholamine levels) to determine if they are elevated. If they are normal, the tumor stays and they watch it very closely to see if it just goes away. If they are elevated, we go immediately into surgery. My hunch is that the test will probably show normal and we will wait to see what happens to it. They are not going to let it get too much bigger before removing it but no need to put Eva in surgery unless they have to. Apparently now, this tumor is not doing much.

So, I guess the best thing is that it is not a recurrence or a relapse rather just the growth of what was left behind. Good news about the other tumor, though, it is just a gigantic hole now with no regrowth! So amazing!

Thank you, again, for all your concern and prayers. It means the world to us to have such a strong support system. I tell you, if anyone can handle this, it is Eva Jane. She marches through that office like she owns it. She will grab that stethoscope from the doctor and put it on her own chest, thank you. She's strong, that is for sure. I'm sure that will come in handy as we move along.


Anonymous said...

Not to alarm you, but I have been following your story and think you should check this out from the American Cancer Society website. Maybe it will give you more questions to ask your doctor.

Goodnight, Mom said...

Thanks, to whomever sent this to me. I copied and emailed it to my doctor.

I asked him very specifically about this earlier today and he said that it did not change the staging but I had not seen this until now so I asked.

Thanks for looking out for us!


jencooper said...

Just wanted to let you know that we are praying for Eva. Please keep us posted. She is such a cutie pie!


January said...

I hope Eva does not need surgery. But she is a strong little girl with lots of love around her. She'll get through this--and you will, too.

Love you!

Alex said...

I pray to God it's not a recurrence Kristi. Hopefully the dumbell shpaed will be removed and that will be the end of that.

Laura said...

My mother just asked me about Eva yesterday. (We are on a family vacation this week.) I told her about your email and she said that she will "just pray more."
and more prayers.

Anonymous said...

We'll continue to keep Eva in our prayers!

Gina & Brian