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A woman sweating and delirious with fear.

The Scare of My Lung Cancer Spreading

Recurrence is a terrifying prospect for cancer patients. In October of last year, this became my fear. My lung nodules have increased in size, and there are concerning spots in my liver, indicating a possible spread of my lung cancer.

Another shoe finally dropped

I have had remission of lung cancer for six years. Although I've been prepared for this day to come because cancer patients would develop resistance to targeted therapy drugs sooner or later, it was still devastating to face the "dropped shoe."

I thought about the best case to go through the painful experience again, i.e., the biopsies, deciding changes in the treatment plans, and adapting the new treatment if the new treatment would work.

I prepared a page of if-then-what medical questions to ask my oncologist to ensure we were on the same page. Meanwhile, I was also prepared to consult with the best oncologist treating my type of cancer in the States for a second opinion.

I did everything I could, and then, it was the waiting game for CT and MRI scans, blood work, and a visit to my oncologist.

The waiting game was a test of mental strength

After I prepared everything, the waiting game began. Although I was devastated by this news, I still hoped the situation was not so dire because lung nodule enlargements can also be caused by inflammation, like catching a cold or flu, and the lesions in my liver might be cysts.

I kept my life as usual, but the thoughts of my cancer spreading, my mortality, and my last moment with my family crept into my mind from time to time.

Am I afraid?

As I've been a cancer survivor for almost nine years, no words can comfort me at this moment, although I was desperate. I was especially annoyed when somebody tried to convince me, saying you'll be OK or don't worry.

I understood they meant well, but any solace was pale and powerless. At the same time, I wasn't very afraid. I was pretty sure everything would be fine - my gut feeling, and if it wasn't OK, let it be.

A good oncologist is a blessing

My oncologist was calm and appeared cautiously optimistic about my possible cancer spread. At the same time, he kept a delicate balance because he couldn't say anything without seeing the scan results.

This is one of the reasons why I like my oncologist. I was always observant of what my oncologist said and didn't say. It does need a couple of years of molding together to know each other at this level.

I'm ever indebted to my oncologist. He is calm and a bit conservative, on the good side, but does not resist anything new.

He suggested I do the biomarker testing 8.5 years ago in Canada, which was not popular then, and we discovered that I have a rare biomarker. My survival for almost nine years is all due to knowing my biomarker. I owe my life to him.

The results are in

My test results finally came back, and my cancer is all stable. My oncologist told me those enlarged nodules were infectious or inflammatory, and the liver spots were cysts.

I survived the scare of the cancer spread. Am I relieved? Not really!

My recent CT and MRI results only indicate my lung cancer was stable in the past four months. There is no guarantee for the next four months. This is the life that cancer patients face — so live today as if it's the last day!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The LungCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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