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Castle Point Court
Glen Allen, VA 23060


Garth Callaghan

Napkin Notes Dad





The Napkin Notes Blog

A New Phase (Health Update)

WGarth Callaghan

I always wear Star Wars Shirts to my medical appointments.

I always wear Star Wars Shirts to my medical appointments.

I just had a follow-up MRI and CT. I had been lucky enough to start to spread out my scans, but the image taken in April showed a doubling of a growth in my lung. 

Metastases to the lung are very common for kidney cancer which has spread, so we were purposefully watching that area. 

I received my scan results in between the scan day and my doctor appointment. I quickly opened the CT report since that was the lung scan. Yippie! The report showed no change in the lung mass. It was a relief. If it had grown again we would have had so many new decisions to make. More growth in my lung would indicate my treatment was failing and that we'd need to consider other options. 

Admittedly, I wanted this mass cut out, but the oncologist on my team with the most experience commented that my survival rate wouldn't go up by having surgery. Since there's been evidence of cancer elsewhere, cutting one out doesn't really help. We can't cut them all out because there's likely cancer we can't see.

Surgery should be something we consider when the mass impairs my lung function. (There's goes my idea for a tattoo - a list of missing body parts!) 

Hours passed in joy and relief knowing that I still had some time to weigh options. I had forgotten to even look at my abdominal MRI. My MRIs hadn't shown anything except shrinkage for well over a year. 


A right enhancing focus in the posterior aspect of the right hepatic lobe series 13-24 is new since the prior examination approximately 12 x 16 mm in size. 

Well, crap. 

I guess my treatment is failing, or at least its efficacy is waning. 

It's ironic, right? 826 school lunches ago I really didn't imagine getting to see Emma graduate from High School. 

emma diploma.jpg

Twice in the last 90 days we see new cancer growth. Damn it. 

It's time to put our thinking caps on, but not for too long because we need to start doing. We're definitely trying something new once we figure out what that looks like. We've almost been on cruise control for the past 4 1/2 years of the daily chemo. That stops now. 

Yes, I am mad and very disappointed, but sometimes life throws you curve balls. You still have to be at the plate and swing away. You can't win if you don't play. 

The other way to look at this is that 99% of my body is cancer free. That's a pretty good number. 

We have a lot of wonderful people walking with us along this crazy journey. Thank you so much for lifting my family up during this time. We couldn't do this without you.

Pack. Write. Connect.