My last trip to NCI went really well considering all the possibilities. I had a follow up CAT scan. The lymphoceles--these are fluid filled sacs that can form as a result of surgery and the removal of lymph nodes---shrank and some disappeared. There was one larger one, but all appear to be going away, great news! Dr. Ram and his team are going to keep a close eye on two nodes, one on my lung and one next to a surgical staple. The node on my lung has been there in previous scans and hopefully neither ever amount to anything. They are millimeters in size so the doctors recommended we just keep a close eye on them. I will be going back February 18th for a CAT and PET scan to check on those areas and make sure everything continues to be clean otherwise.
Honestly, as I begin 2014, I feel grateful. As much as I wish the scans were completely clean, I feel good about how far I have come since surgery and all of the hope and positive energy along the way. It's one of the reasons I chose this picture of my mom and I playing one of my favorite childhood games, Trouble! We stayed at Cloisters on campus at NCI and when we got in the room I looked at the bookshelf (they usually have a random assortment of goodies: books, games, puzzles, etc.) and there it was, I literally laughed out loud and insisted my mom and I sit down for a few games. It was a great way to pass the time. It is a very simple game, but one thing is for sure...I must get a lot of my competitive nature from my mom. We were popping the button in the middle and moving our pieces with a level of fervor that definitely didn't match the strategy it took to play!
Some more good news: I beat my mom 2-1 in our best of 3 :)