Thursday, July 19, 2012

No Evidence of Disease (NED) maybe

NED may be the sweetest medical acronym I’ve ever met. No Evidence of Disease (NED) maybe.

Seven months ago, three days before Christmas, I got the phone call informing me of a vague nodular density in my lung.

My mind immediately went to the darkest corner of my imagination where everything and anything I thought I knew about lung cancer crawled to die while I pretended to smile through my last Christmas.

Yet here I am just 7 months later with only a small wedge removed from my lung during lung cancer surgery, no measurable loss of pulmonary function, no loss of physical abilities, no radiation nor chemotherapy required and today after my 4 month post-surgery CT scan I can add NED to my cancer timeline.

Yes of course a medical disclaimer is necessary.  I will be scanned again in 4 months and then again yearly to monitor for any return of cancer. There is not only a chance but an increased risk since I had a wedge resection vs a lobectomy

There are some ominous statistics about lung cancer survival. The past and even recent past has not created many success stories to be told.

In the now and in the tomorrow there can and will be more success stories. One voice at a time we can share.

Recently I reposted the earlier entries from my Multiple Sclerosis spouse caregiving blog. Entries about lung cancer like everything else were swallowed by MS caregiving. My lung cancer survivorship needed to stand alone, be heard, and be shared.

Why me? Why was I lucky? I held my Dad through the long night as he died of pancreatic cancer 15 years ago. I can easily tick off at least a handful of friends who have died of lung cancer through the decades.

Screening and early detection is absolutely how the formula for success begins in my story.  I had no symptoms then and I still have no symptoms. Yet today unlike 7 months ago I have no evidence of lung cancer, maybe. 

by Patrick Leer

1 comment:

  1. there we go; the link worked! Great idea to make a separate blog for your lung cancer diagnosis/treatment, etc. It is interesting that you got it, Patrick; not being a smoker. I've typed many a report with those diagnosed with it and then giving up smoking after they get the diagnosis. You're a bit of a anomaly (but then the care giving you do is a bit of an anomaly too :)

    May you always get NED year after year after year after year!