I wanted to add some pics of Sookie (Duncan snuck in here as well). Dogs are amazing.  A human would still be recovering from such a surgery!


Cone 2.JPG

Cone of Shame



Sook-Duncan Sit.JPG

Recovered!  They both need baths and a hair cut!


My favorite pic! 

CT Scan Update and more

I just realized I never did an update after my scan.  It was pretty much the same as always.  The only thing that made me go “WHAT”? was a few things never mentioned.  It mentioned again the scaring in the left lung base but also said Atelectasis or scarring…  it’s never said anything about atelectasis.  Of course, I google that since I didn’t know what it was.  It can be collapsed air sacs (partial lung collapse?)  Hell if I know.  My Oncologist never said anything about it.

The concern, to me, is that I’ve been coughing a lot lately.  That is the only symptom my mom had when she was diagnosed with lung cancer.  As I’ve said before, having cancer makes you a little bit of a hypochondriac!  Every new symptom means another cancer or your current cancer is growing!

One liver lesion grew a tiny bit.  From 1.2cm to 1.3cm (which can just be the angle of that picture).

The other never-before-mentioned comment was “scattered atherosclerotic vasculature changes”.  I think that means I’m getting old and my arteries are hardening?

Another test I had done was an EGD.  This was ordered by both my regular doctor and my oncologist due to my nausea issues.  I had that early July.  It showed only a lot of inflammation in my esophogus and stomach.  DX is gastritis.  The gastroenterologist put me on Prilosec.  It’s helped immensely.

Then I’ve also had several procedures on my neck, or cervical spine.  None of these have helped much.  I do have new changes in disk two, which is above the 4 they fused.  The pain is really high up — into my skull.  I’ve have the nerves on both sides ablated (left side helped but the right didn’t. Then I had an injection of the nerve (they call it an epidural) on the left side but that didn’t work either.  Then the pain doc talked about an occipital nerve block (that nerve runs up the back of your head) but he wanted to put me on Gabapentin first to see if that worked.  If it worked, they new the nerve block would too.  Well, guess what?  Not only did it make me super dizzy and nauseous, it didn’t work.  Argh.  Now they want to do another cervical epidural higher up on the side of my neck.  I have that scheduled for the 19th of September.  I had to wait due to my insurance plan year starting over in July and I didn’t want to have to pay for it until I’d met my out-of-pocket maximum with my sandostatin shots since I get that money back from Novartis through their patient co-pay plan!  At $17,000 a pop, it only takes two shots to reach it!

I’m about done with all the neck pain/crap.  I just don’t want to deal with it anymore.  If this coming injection doesn’t work, I think I’m done trying anything.  I’ll just have to live with it.

One last thing (I know this is a long one), My Sookie dog had continue issues and ended up having surgery.  It looked like she most likely had cancer…  $3,000 later, no cancer!  She does have Irritable Bowel Disease.  Like me, a lot of inflammation.  She has done so great since surgery!  Dogs are amazing at how quickly they recover.  She is acting happier and more energetic than she has in the last year.









It’s been a while!  I haven’t had much to share as it seems my days just run into one another.  Work, go home, walk dogs, watch tv.  Over and over again.  At least I have the chance.  So many do not.  I’ve lost two friends from work the past year (both breast cancer). One only had 8 months.  I know there are several different “types” of breast cancer.  She has one of the super rare super aggressive types.  i can’t pronounce the name of it or do I even remember.  My boss said it’s more like a sarcoma.  It did not respond to chemo or radiation at all.

On my health front, not much has been going on until recently.  I’ve been feeling very nauseated off and on throughout the day (even wakes me up occasionally), tired and weak.  I made an appointment with my internal med doc mainly to get my blood pressure checked.  After talking with her, she want to draw blood for blood chemistry, magnesium and a few other random things.  I had my CBC done two weeks ago at the cancer clinic and that was all good.  Well, for the first time ever, my liver enzymes are all high!  I read that liver problems can also make you nauseous.

I already have my yearly CT Scan scheduled and it is tomorrow!  At least we may know if anything is going on with those liver tumors.  I see the oncologist next week. I also just passed my 7 year cancerversary.  Crazy that it’s been that long already.  *side note, my Abbie girl turned 20 years old this week.  Abs was my horse that I had to re-home.  She has a great caretaker and I never have to worry about her.

Am I worried?  A little.  I know it is what it is and most likely this cancer will become active again some day.  Just hoping I can put that off a few more years.




It’s been so long!

It’s been so long since I’ve done an update.  That is mainly because there is nothing really to update anyone about!  Not my cancer, anyway.  This is a good thing, even a GREAT thing!  Still stable after all these years.  I’m going on 7 now (June 2019).

On the personal front, there is a new man in my life!  He is 15 months old and his name is Duncan.  Duncan_grass2

He’s a crazy Cairn Terrier with a lot of personality!  He was about 4 mo. old in this picture.


4 Years Since Diagnosis

Stacie Chevrier

September 1st, 2018 marked four years since I was diagnosed with a Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor.

It was Labor Day weekend 2014 and I found myself in the hospital for the third time in two weeks. Originally sent home with discharge papers listing my diagnosis as, “superbug” (seriously) with instructions that I should drink plenty of fluids and rest. The next day, I felt just as terrible and returned to the emergency room. When they took my blood, my potassium was so low doctors were shocked I had not gone into cardiac arrest. I was admitted and told they would do a CT scan in the morning. I had no idea what a CT scan was or that it’s often used to find tumors. Seconds after returning to returning from the scan, a doctor rushed into my room. “You have a mass on your pancreas, but I don’t think it’s pancreatic…

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NET Cancer Blog – Top 6 posts of 2017

Ronnie really does a great job advocating / educating on Neuroendocrine Tumors/Cancer.

Ronny Allan - Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer

Top 6 posts

These are my top performing posts for 2017 – comprising one eighth of my entire hits for the year.  My blog hits for 2017 almost reached a quarter of a million, double that of 2016 which was double that of 2015.  A chunk of these figures can be attributed to most of these articles.  Please share to maintain the momentum.

Top 6 posts for 2017 (Click on each article title to read)Short DescriptionHits in 2017
The Human Anatomy of Neuroendocrine CancerMaking the point that Neuroendocrine Cancer is not confined to a particular part of the body9,906
Neuroendocrine Cancer Syndromes – Early Signs of a Late DiagnosisAll about syndromes7,546
Neuroendocrine Neoplasms – Grade and Stage (incorporating WHO 2017 changes)The very latest information (particularly about grading)7,027
Neuroendocrine Cancer – no treats, just tricksA very powerful awareness message.  It was only published 2 months…

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Still here…

This was in my fortune cookie yesterday:

It’s time for you to learn to dance in the rain rather than wait for sun.

I thought is was fitting.  I must try. Kind of like the whole “live in the moment” thing.

Let’s see what all I can catch you up on…  I had my neck fused in May.  It ended up being a level 3 fusion (5 disks).  I got lucky and didn’t/don’t have any bad side affects.  I do feel like I have something in my throat a lot but at least it’s not all the time.

I have an appointment next week with my oncologist.  I had a scan the end of June (due to my insurance year starting over again on July 1.  It read like I was still “stable” except the part about multiple high density possible lesions throughout the liver, question prior chemoembolization (which I’ve never had).  I called the clinic to ask about it but NO ONE EVER called me back.  I just decided to wait until I saw the doc.  I’ll ask him.  I also want to get the Gallium 68 Scan next time.  We have it here in Utah now.  So exciting.  They’ve also just done the first PRRT treatment at Huntsman Cancer Institute!  It’s through the expanded access clinical trial.  Unfortunately, they only got permission to treat two patients but the oncologist heading it up (my first oncologist) thinks they will open it up for more.  I hope so.

What else… Its been a year since I moved into my apartment.  I got a puppy (temporary insanity) but he’s super cute and he and Sookie are finally starting to play (I should say Sookie is finally starting to play with him). Sook was not too thrilled the first month or so.  I’d say she’s still not 100% on board with the whole thing.  He’s 4 1/2 months old now and is a Cairn Terrier/Westie mix.  Cairn’s and Westies used to be the same breed so I just tell people he’s a Cairn Terrier like Toto on the Wizard of Oz.  My very first dog ever was a Cairn Terrier so I think it was a bit of nostalgia that prompted the acquisition.  His name is Duncan.  I call him Tur-Duncan a lot.


I will try to give an update after my appointment next week!


It’s been so long!

I’ve been a bit remiss in updating my blogs (yes, I have two).

There has not been much to “update”.  My cracked rib seems much better although I think this cold, cold, winter weather we’re having is making it hurt!  I’ve had a lot of rib area pain the last few weeks (again).  It’s not the same as when it was cracked though.

I am having a colonoscopy tomorrow.  It’s been 3 years since my last one and I’m not expecting anything but good news, after-all, today is my birthday!  My gift to myself.  Nothing to eat after 9am.  No birthday cake, no drinks with friends.  Oh well…  this was just the best week for me to do it since I have to have someone with me and my sister is in town (plus a slow week at work).


My bone scan came back with osteopenia.  Thin bones.  No surprise there.  I recently read where several patients on Sandostatin have been dx’d with either osteopenia or full blown osteoarthritis.  Many wonder if it is the Sandostatin that contributes to it.  I think it could be but it is more likely just our age!  Dr. Woltering suggested 5,000 units of Vitamin D with 1,000 of Vitamin C followed by two tums.  I think I am going to try that–if only I can remember!  I’m supposed to take two calcium supps a day but I forget more than I remember.

If you want to read my story from the very beginning, my other blog is:mylifewithcarcinoidcancer.blogspot


I hope everyone had a lovely holiday!