Weeks 179 & 180: Good scan results

Written by Lars Haakon Soraas

Weeks 179 and 180 in the war on lung cancer have passed. Here are the highlights:

  • Dyanne has done a new round of scans. In short the scan results are consistent with the falling tumor markers. Tumors have shrunk compared to the scans in December. The PET scan suggests that in some areas, maybe in particular 1-2 lymph nodes on the neck, there is still active cancer.
  • Dyanne’s shape has been a bit up and down the past two weeks. She has had some fatigue and period cramps, and also occasional nausea.
  • CEA has kept falling, but it seems like it may be plateauing now. In the past week it has fallen from 10 to 9.

We are still in analysis mode, investigating different treatment options. And we are also in recovery and trying to gain weight mode. As all treatments have side effects, it is important to be in reasonably good shape in order to tolerate the treatment. Thus gaining some strength and weight is important.

We lost a fellow cancer warrior this past week. Bernard “Bernie” Desforges was a hero and inspiration to us, and many many other lung cancer patients worldwide. He showed us the path. I have written more about what Bernie meant for us in a separate blog post: http://alunglife.com/dear-bernie/.

In other news, I got published a short letter to the editor in a journal called JAMA Oncology. I wrote the letter together with two others and, in short, we criticized the statistical methods of a paper that was published in the journal last summer. Despite the original paper being, in my view, obviously extremely flawed, it still got a lot of press. BBC, New York Times and many others were readily duped. Journalists around the world were duped en masse, probably partly because the paper was published in a leading scientific journal, was written by researchers at Yale and that the findings fit nicely within a narrative many journalists and editors found palatable. That there are many problems with academic publishing is well known. It is, nevertheless, still disheartening to realize what rubbish research from supposedly good universities actually pass peer review and get published in leading journals. How are patients supposed to navigate the minefield of novel and alternative cancer treatments, when the sources that “everyone” says are the ones that should be relied on actually contain such nonsense “science”? For anyone interested in reading more about this, here is a twitter thread I did on this: https://twitter.com/larshaakon/status/1090341177927368704.

We hope everyone has had a good weekend.

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