Preliminary CT Scan Results

Kaiser rescheduled the CT Scan, to today (Wednesday) at 2PM. They said it would take several days for the results. Much to our surprise, Rich’s oncologist called at 6:45 PM, with the preliminary CT scan results. Here are the details:

– The mass has shrunk from 10+ cm to between 1 to 3 cm. This small size is within the realm of what they would expect the scar tissue to measure. So, in other words, the cancer may be gone…and if it isn’t completely gone, then at least it is responding very well to the treatments. The doctor said she was, “Really encouraged.”

– The oncologist is on vacation until July 8th, which is when our next appointment is with her. She has ordered a PET scan for Rich, which needs to be done in the early part of next week. She said this test will show whether the mass has “rapidly growing cells” (which would indicate cancer), or not. We’re hoping they will be able to do it in Fresno, but due to the late notice, it may require driving to Stockton (about 2.75 hours away), or Sacramento (about 3.5 hours away). Please pray for an appointment to open up in Fresno! Depending on what the PET scan says, the oncologist will decide whether Rich needs a fourth round of chemo or not. She said she’d like to stop at three, as long as the PET scan looks good.

– Rich has been having pain by his kidney. We talked to the urologist, and he has put Rich on the schedule for surgery next week to either replace or remove his stent, which he thought was causing the pain. To add drama to the situation, the CT Scan revealed a possible blood clot in Rich’s kidney…this could also cause pain, and other problems. The oncologist wanted Rich to have an ultrasound done ASAP, so she could treat this (with blood thinners), if necessary, before she left for her trip tomorrow afternoon.

I called the radiology department at 7PM, and they said they could see Rich at 8PM. Yes, one hour later. Amazing! So, we packed up the kids, and headed to Fresno. The ultrasound was 1 hour, 20 mins long, and extremely thorough.

Before the oncologist called, I told the kids we would go get ice cream. It just seemed like an ice cream kind of night, and I thought we’d drive to the local Rite Aid for cones…The plus side of driving to Fresno tonight is that the three of us enjoyed Cold Stone Creamery (mmmmmm!!!) while Rich had his ultrasound. It was the first time the kids picked out their own Cold Stone concoction (Allison ordered raspberry sherbet with gummy bears (Yuck, but she loved it!)…Asher ordered vanilla with M&Ms (he’s my kind of ice cream orderer!).)

For the first time in a very, very long time, Rich seemed like himself (albeit a more tired version of himself) on the drive down…chipper and happy and chatty and amazed and humbled that the chemo was actually working.

And on the way home, he enjoyed his first In&Out burger since this entire ordeal began…and it actually tasted good!

Rich’s chemo yesterday went well. It was not quick…we were in Fresno for 4 hours total, instead of the anticipated 1 hour…but it was fairly easy. He didn’t have the awful side effects he did the last time, and the anti-nausea drugs kept most of the side effects at bay.

Thank you so much for your prayers. Of course, we feel every one of them. Please pray for the issue with Rich’s kidney and stent…that it would be resolved, and that the doctors would have wisdom over what is causing the pain (whether it’s the stent, or a blood clot…or both!); and how to treat it. And pray that we can have the PET scan done in Fresno.

And if you have called us and we haven’t returned your calls, PLEASE don’t take it personally. Life is very full right now. Please know your calls are treasured, even if we aren’t able to get back to you.

Happy Thursday!!! And Happy July!!!

Love, Susan

5 Responses to “Preliminary CT Scan Results”

  1. Julia Stephens Praud Says:


    I’ve been following your journey and my prayers are with you, Rich and the kids. You’re strength and positive attitude is truly an inspiration.

    Best Always,
    Julia Stephens Praud

  2. Jennifer Landwehr Graham Says:

    I’m crossing my fingers and toes that you guys are close to the finish line with all of this! Sounds very encouraging!

  3. denise jones Says:

    i never considered rich not able to eat a burger! i’m glad he enjoyed one.
    and that you made the most of your time.

    may continue to go before and behind you, provide your needs for you, show Himself to you, Heal, and lavish His great love on all of you!

    and my coldstone choice- vanilla bean ice cream with strawberries and brownie mixed in, yummy!

  4. Ruth Demers Says:

    I am so encouraged by your testimony and appreciate you sharing what God is doing in your lives. We continue to pray and praise God on your behalf.

  5. Jeff Grandy Says:

    Man, that’s just such good news Rich! It made me so happy to think of you just sitting and enjoying a Forks burger! And not one you had to choke down either, but one that tasted good. Fantastic!!!!

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