First -- I want to thank all of you again. I truly believe in the power of good thought and spirit and I think the vibes were of great help to me today.
So here's my update. The bad news is that there is now a second, tiny tiny (less than a cm) tumor also in the liver, sort of off by itself, nowhre near a wall, a vein, or a node. There are also three lymph nodes of increased size, which clearly tells us there is node involvement. (At my last check in October 08 the nodes were identified as "probable" involvement but now they are bigger and the situation seems more clear.)
The good news, however, seems to be fairly good news: while the tumor has grown, it has grown only 1/2 cm (it went from 6.5 in October to 7.0 today). Doctor was very clear that this is what they're calling a "lazy" tumor and he said "growth was slower than we'd expected."
Doctor did suggest chemo which I again declined -- at least for now -- but he was much less insistent, and said it was something we should talk about again when he does the next scan in 3--4 months. Also recommending Gemzar only as opposed to the three-drug cocktail he strongly wanted me to be taking last year.
Overall, the news was good (relatively speaking, of course) and in fact the doc said I may have 6 or 12 months before I start to see serious symptoms. This may not sound like a long time, but I will tell you all that last summer these folks had me dead in a year. I fully expected that I would not make it to my 45th birthday (which is in September -- and hey -- I like watches!) and now it sounds like I might just make it there, and then some.
So...obviously the presence of the second tumor is bad bad bad, and the growing lymph nodes bad. But overall I am esctatic at the fact that the primary tumor is so d*mned lazy (my tumor takes after me -- how sweet!) and that as of today, my liver function remains perfectly normal.
So -- it's a mixed bag, but I'll take it, and will try to honor the time I do have left.
My deep affection -- no, make that my love, to all you. We struggle, but none of us strggles alone.