December 2004

In early December a CT scan was scheduled and the results showed a very small tumor – 2 cm – in her lung. We were terrified. However, the doctor comforted us and said we did not know yet if the tumor was cancerous. Diana needed another test. Next a biopsy was scheduled. On December 15, we received the news that the tumor discovered in Diana’s left lung was cancerous. Diana and I were both devastated when we received the news in the doctor’s office.


However, our pulmonary doctor told us the tumor was very small – 2 cm – and located in the very bottom of her lung. He told us it was the smallest tumor he had ever detected. He also went on to say, that he had not thought that Diana had cancer from her symptoms and he was surprised at the outcome. Our doctor said the tumor was in a great location and could easily be removed by surgery. However, a new test needed to be completed – a PET Scan – before proceeding with any surgery procedures. I had gone to the doctor’s office with Diana that day and drove her home. After sharing much sadness with each other in our house, I returned to Diana’s office to notify the employees of the news. Not an easy task since I did not have answers to most of their questions.At this time in our lives, Cancer was a six letter word that happened to others. Diana and I were in shock but highly optimistic based upon the doctor’s preliminary diagnosis.

A PET Scan was scheduled for December 23 at 10:00 AM, again in a Plano hospital. A PET Scan is a test – similar to a CT Scan – a radioactive fluid is injected into the test recipient. The fluid is attracted to any cancer cells and will be seen by the radiologist doctor reading the scans. Diana’s PET Scan was done at Plano Hospital. This was a different hospital from where her CT-Scan had been done. As we drove to the hospital that morning, we passed by a Dunkin Donut Coffee Shop. Diana was from Massachusetts – where Dunkin Donuts was originally founded and grew up on Dunkin Donuts and loved them. Since you cannot eat prior to the PET Scan, I told Diana that we would stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way home and celebrate the test results.

We were both nervous as we waited for Diana to be called for her PET-Scan at the hospital. Finally, Diana’s name was called and in she went. The test takes approximately an hour – but let me tell you it is a long hour. Finally Diana came out. The lady technician conducting the PET Scan let us know that since the Christmas holidays were approaching, the radiologist doctor who would read and interpret the PET scan results would provide us with the results after lunch if we wanted to wait. We went and had a sandwich in the hospital cafeteria and came back to the PET Scan area around 2 PM.

The radiologist doctor took us to his area and showed us the results on his computer system. What he showed and explained left the two of us in a state of shock. Diana’s cancer was determined to be Stage IV. Diana’s lung tumor had metastasized and cancer was detected in her right shoulder, spine, right hip and right femur. We both left the hospital in a state of absolute shock. Neither of us said a word to the other on the twenty minute drive home. Needless to say, we did not stop at the Dunkin Donut Coffee Shop. Once home, we told Diana’s mother who lived with us the diagnosis and broke down into tears.