Sunday, January 25, 2009

Freakin' frik frik

Happy Chinese New Year's Eve!

Yes, I realize the subtitle here is a little incongruous with the main title of this post. Today is a day for celebration (or at least the start of celebration, as Chinese New Year usually lasts for weeks, for some reason), but I have some unfortunate news to share as well.

Remember those pesky lung nodules I had throughout the past year? They're the reason I was denied from the medium risk clinical trial and put into the high risk category. They were on my initial scans but then didn't change too much, and so we thought that perhaps they weren't anything to worry about in the first place (since they weren't responding to the chemo). Well, one of them is misbehaving and has grown since my last scan in October. It was about 4mm and is now up to 9mm. That's still pretty small, but my doctor and the tumor board (that's the collection of doctors, surgeons, and radiologists who meet every week to discuss cases) agree that it needs to come out. Luckily, the nodule is pretty close to the surface in my upper left lung, so it should be pretty easy to get to in a minimally invasive way. They'll poke three holes in my left side and go in with laparoscopic tools to cut out the offending bit of tissue. I should only be in the hospital for a couple days (surgery will be on Feb. 2).

Of course I found all this out after scheduling the date for my defense on (of all days) Friday, the 13th of Feb. I guess we'll just have to see how things go, but if I can stay on track and defend, then I'll at least get that hurdle out of the way. Writing and turning in the dissertation shouldn't be too bad after that. I have a lot written and have just a couple more experiments to re-do so we can publish our data.

How do I feel? Honestly, kind of crappy. I'm trying to stay optimistic, I really am. It's just tough. Uncertainty is such a bear. Not a teddy bear, either. Anyhow, I've been reading different books about good nutrition and am slowly working on changing my eating habits, but honestly who really knows what will work in the end? I guess you just try and do everything you can and hope for the best. On the plus side, my strength is definitely coming back, and I've been able to climb more and more, which is great.

If I can get through this month I think I'll be golden. . . have surgery, defend, and then spend a few days in sunny Mexico. . . should be good. . .