Posted by: wrmcnutt | September 4, 2009

No Biopsy Necessary

Well, today was the needle biopsy.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  For the newcomer, Dad has lung cancer.  Complicating this is emphysema (COPD).  Essentially, thirty years of two packs of cigarettes a day have rendered his lungs to mulch and he can barely breathe.  It is estimated that he can barely tolerate the removal of the cancerous upper lobe, but if he has cancer anywhere else, there’s no point in opening him up. 

Today’s procedure was provoked by a second spot on his cat scan which the surgeon was concerned about.  If this second spot, low on the lung, proved to be cancer, there was no point in operating.  So we scheduled today’s needle biopsy.

The way a needle biopsy works is that they do a cat scan to orient the radiologist, then he sticks the need in a little way.  Then they do another cat scan, and he moves the needle again.  And again.  They do this over and over until the needle is in the right location to take a sample for testing.

In Dad’s case, they spun up the cat scan to orient the radiologist, and he took one look at the spot and called it off.  Apparently, it was smaller.  As cancer never gets smaller without help, this spot was something else, and the biopsy was not necessary.

Just to add more entertainment:  The radiologist found yet a third spot about which he had some concerns, but he could not biopsy.  It was under a rib, and he couldn’t get at it.

So it would appear that the surgery is back on.  The next step is to contact the surgeon for another consultation.

I appreciate the doctor’s concern with getting all of the information they can before gutting my father like a fish.  But it’s been weeks since his diagnosis, and the cancer has not been sitting still.

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  1. I hate sounding like a broken record.
    In person these would be hugs (which never get old) but from long distance all I can say (yet again) is how sorry I am that you and your family are going through this and that you are all in my prayers

  2. Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Nothing is ever simple!

    Like you, I would like this to have some resolution. This waiting around is making me antsy too – for you and your dad.

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