Steve's previous scan was on 11 November 2014. Usually the results come through in 2-3 weeks. However, when he experienced significant pain two days after the scan, the results were fast-tracked and we were given a brief oral summary of the main findings on 14 November. The bottom line at that time was that his disease had progressed with increased pleural thickening and two visible lesions on his liver. He was taken off the drug trial at once and arrangements were put in place for radiotherapy to the lump on his chest, which the scan confirmed as the cancer growing through the chest wall.
His most recent scan was last week and we were told the results on Monday. Some of the news came as a not-very-welcome surprise. It now appears that as well as the lesions in his liver and increased plural thickening on the right lung, the detailed report on last November's scan (which we had not seen or been told about) also revealed that the cancer has spread to his left lung and spine, plus there was significant swelling of lymph glands in the centre of his chest and near his trachea (wind pipe).
So - unbeknown to us at the time - that's where things stood in November last year.
What's happened in the eight months since then?
The bad news is that
- almost all lung nodules increased in size
- several new nodules in the left lung
- increased thickening of the pleura and new nodules in the right lung
- increased lymph node swelling in the middle of his chest
- "mild" progression of the bony metastatic disease in his spine
- he has developed sigmoid diverticulosis - a common medical condition of the colon, unrelated to the mesothelioma
But there's good news too:
- a significant reduction in the right chest wall mass where it has grown through his ribs (that's the radiotherapy working)
- no worsening of the resultant rib destruction
- no thickening of the left pleura
- decreased swelling of the lymph node near his trachea
- no pleural thickening or nodes below the diaphragm
- one liver lesion reduced in size
- no free fluid/ascites
- no swelling of the lymph glands in the abdomen
- the remainder of the gut (above the colon) is "unremarkable"