Update – Jan. 11, 2008

A message from at 6:03am about Dad, Lung Cancer. 2 responses.

Happy New Year to all my friends.

Year 2007, the roughest year in my life, is finally behind me. But it didn’t leave without putting up another scary moment.

First thing first, let me pick up from what was left last month – the PET results from 12/12/2007. According to the radiologist’s read, the good news was the marked improvement in the neck and chest with decreases in both size and activities of tumors since 5/16/2007. The bad news was that they found 12 lesions in the liver with the largest doubled in size compared to 5/16/2007. The activity, however, was comparable both times.

The results were somewhat confusing because a CT scan on 11/26/2007 did not reveal the size of the tumors in the liver. We asked the oncologist if it was possible that a tumor doubled its size in meerly 2 weeks. The answer was unlikely. But he also emphasized the difficulty in reading those images. So, am I getting better or worse? I guess nobody knows for sure at this moment.

The second round of chemo theralpy started on 12/17/2007. While I was trying to adjust to the new medicine, I found increases in shortness of breath, slowly but steadily through the treatment. We thought that was a side effect of the medicine. It was the night of Christmas, the shortness of breath became very bad. In the clinic visit next morning, Shu communicated the situation to the doctor and demanded measurement of the blood oxygen level. It was 85%, way below normal. It didn’t take long for them to decide where I should go. An ambulance was called in and I was transferred to Columbia Hospital. A CT scan that afternoon confirmed the doctor’s concern. There was blood clot in the lungs, covering almost one-third of the area – another silent killer associated with lung cancer patients.

I was hospitalized for 5 days. The only way to treat blood clot is use of blood thinner. In order to control the viscosity of blood, they had to experiement me with different dosages. In order to avoid spread of the clot with extra movements, particularly to the brain which spells “hasta la vista, baby”, I got a restraint order. I could only move from bed to restroom and back. After 5 days, they were finally satisfied with the dosage and the viscosity of my blood, so I could go home before New Year eve. The oncologist has since taken over the monitoring the thickness of the blood. They are drawing blood every other day for INR test and adjusting the medicine accordingly.

Well, I don’t know if there are more surprises ahead. They won’t tell me and it seems that I have to learn every single one in the hard way. Although the improvement is slow, at least it is consistently going in the right direction. The new year always brings the new hopes. Stay tuned.