Amazing scan results NED

Dave & Fiona‘No evidence of neoplasm.’

This was the final sentence of the radiologist’s report on my CT scan from Tuesday. I went straight to wikipedia. Neoplasm wasn’t a word I’d been using. And my guess was right. There was no evidence of a tumour. Seriously? I don’t think I ever expected to read that. No evidence of cancer? I was stunned.

It’s exactly eighteen months this weekend since I was admitted to hospital, had my first CT scan, and discovered the tumour on my lung. It was about 24mm at the time. I’ve had two surgeries, twenty six courses of chemotherapy, and a number of CTs in this period. We’ve seen the tumour increase slightly to 26mm, then reduced to 18mm, to 12mm, and to 7mm in February this year. It went from a golf ball, to a pinball, to a marble, to a pea. A friend was praying it would shrink to a mustard seed next! Seems like it has. Whatever may or may not be there is too small to be seen by a CT scan. 🙂

We’ve discussed this with a couple of oncologists now. They were both amazed by how things have gone. My regular oncologist, who is very careful and conservative, kept saying this doesn’t normally happen with my type of cancer. I told him I was quite happy to be abnormal! Both oncologists have stated the importance of continuing with the chemo for now. The tumour is not evident on the CT scan, and this is a great outcome, but it doesn’t guarantee that I am cancer free. Cancer cells are microscopic. They could be anywhere and everywhere without having developed an observable tumour. The fact that my cancer was discovered at Stage 4 once it had already spread, and that cancer cells were discovered in other places, is a reminder not to make assumptions.

This scan result is the best result I could have received. To be described as N.E.D. – No Evidence of Disease – is a wonderful result. But it carries with it a huge amount of uncertainty. It’s like the results of a satellite image of a national park revealing no evidence of an escaped criminal. Higher resolution would be needed to gain more certainty. But even then he could be hiding behind a rock or under a tree and not observable. They cannot be sure with me. Even surgery, biopsies, and other types of scans have their limitations. They can identify cancer, but they can’t rule out it’s existence.

Our plan is for me to continue with chemo for a while and ask more questions. We’ll seek advice about other options for assessing how I’m going. We’ll seek to monitor the toxic and damaging impact of chemo. It’s clearly been the recipe for attacking my adenocarcenoma, but it’s leaving its mark on my body as well. I’m experiencing some neuropathic symptoms again, energy levels are low, fitness is harder to maintain, and I’m on medication to counteract significant side effects.

In short, the journey with cancer continues. In some ways I expect it will be harder. Until now I’ve had certainty. I’ve been sure of having cancer because I’ve seen the evidence. Now the evidence isn’t there. I assume there is still cancer present, and will act accordingly, but I can’t be sure.

My scan results are great news and I’m filled with gratitude to God for bringing me to this point. I thank you for your love, support and prayers. God has been listening and answering our prayers. He’s been kindly giving me time and opportunity to serve him. I’ve been praying since early last year that I would get to see Matt married and that I would get to be a grandfather. [I didn’t tell them this!] There’s now four weeks until Matt and Elizabeth get married and Luke and Sharon are halfway through their pregnancy. God willing, Fiona and I will also celebrate thirty years of marriage this year. Awesome. Thank you God for the days that you give me!

God has done a lot of work in me over this past eighteen months. In particular, he’s been strengthening my hope. Not hope in a cure necessarily, but a hope beyond cure. Hope that gives me reason to live, however many days I might have. Hope in life now and in eternity. Hope that is real even if cancer should one day overrun my body. Hope that sustains me through the ups and the downs. Hope grounded in God keeping his promises in Jesus Christ. My desire is for each one of you to know this hope. God is good.

Thank you again for your friendship, support, help, and generosity. As we continue this journey please rejoice with us and please keep on praying that God will remove all traces of cancer from my body. Please pray for wisdom for the medical specialists and for us as we decide what paths to take.


46 thoughts on “Amazing scan results NED”

  1. Fantastic news! My wife and I will be in Darwin on June 23rd and looking for a Church to go to. Do you have any recommendations?

  2. dave,

    This is fantantic news. means more times at burrill. More fish. more opportunity, more.

  3. Wow Dave. I must admit, i wasn’t expecting NED to be an acronym for something so encouraging, even if the escaped criminal is hiding in a cave somewhere… Praise God and much love from Sam and Emma in Vanuatu.

  4. Oh, that is such good news. Thank you, Lord! “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

  5. Praise The Lord for He is good! And His love endures forever!!! That is wonderfully encouraging news Macca! I know it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily gone completely & we will continue to pray for you going forward! I remember the jubilation when my Mum had been cancer free for 10 years & was finally able to get a life insurance policy in Australia (her cancer pre-dated our immigration). And yet to this day she see’s her specialists once a year… Both to keep tabs on what is happening in her body & to stay on the books of top specialists in case her cancer was to return! Such a blessing to me that God saw fit to see her through cancer, through both my brother & I getting married and having our first children! My prayer is not only for her to be here for the births of the rest of our children but that she’ll be around as their Gogo (Zulu for granny) until they themselves are adults, a privilege I was not able to enjoy with my grandparents. It is my prayer that your journey with cancer may turn out similar to that of my mother & that God will see fit to have you working for Him on this earth for many years to come!

  6. Marvellous new Dave! God has set eternity in our hearts so I pray he will enable you to continue to be used to bring many more to enjoy eternity with Him. I’ll continue to pray that he will bless & guide you.

  7. This was one of the best blogs I’ve read in a long while. I pray the next steps will become evident and you get wise advice and right decisions re further treatment. Will keep praying, clearly God has more for you and us to learn.

  8. Much happiness to you on this fantastic result!
    Best wishes from Southern California.

  9. Yes, celebrate good news, and the fact that God is using this blog to help so many of us. Pray for you weekly.

    Christine Bradbeer

  10. Great answer to prayer!! Alison and I also celebrated 30 years last December. May the Lord continue to use you to extol his name. How good it will be to be home! Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

  11. Woohoo – what an answer to many prayers! Praise God!
    Best blog entry yet!
    Claire and Laurie

  12. Wish I was a poet so i could think of something original and rich to say brother. But I am so so thankful to God and humming the wondrous Hallelujah Chorus. May God heal and keep in you and those closest to you “a firm trust in His goodness”

  13. That is so, so wonderful Dave and Fiona! Gordo called me when he read it this afternoon and I still can’t believe it. We’ll be praying that it is gone forever and praising God.

  14. Such wonderful news Dave. Our son James arrived home from college in an excited state this afternoon with your breaking news!

  15. I’m another one who hasn’t actually met you and your wife however I do feel connected as one tends to in God’s rather large family! My brother (Bruce Bennett) and husband (David Saunders) know you so through them and mutual friends I’ve been prayerfully following your journey with cancer. So delighted to hear your news today. It seems very understated to say that God is amazing but he really is. I can only imagine what life has been like for you and your family since you were diagnosed but I do know for sure that the ministry you and Fiona have through this blog will continue to be a blessing to us all. God bless you both.

  16. God is good all the time. & All the time, God is good… A truism our kids say at the beginning of Cornerstone Sun. School.

  17. This is amazing news! When God said his mercies are new every morning, he really meant it! We are hopeful we can visit you early 2014!

  18. Dear Dave,
    My mother also is stage 4 adenocarcinoma. She is not NED, but has been given the gift of more time to serve and praise our God here for a bit longer. NED or not, every day to love and serve Him is our privilege. I pray you will be able to rest in the dx and that they will figure out a therapy that will not compromise your health going forward but continue to keep the cancer from returning.. What a wonderful work our God and healer has done in your body. Thank you for sharing your amazing story.

  19. WOW! Such awesome news, Macca. You have been such an encouragement to so many people on this journey. This is my favourite blog so far…

  20. Awesome news … We continue to pray for you and the rest of the family .. Might call out next grandson Ned? 😊
    Thanks for the articles .. Reviews and challenges praise our great God for the encouragement you are
    Steve Teale

  21. What great smiles on both your faces. A wonderful complement to a wonderful story. We are smiling and praising God too. We continue to pray for wisdom and direction as the journey continues.

  22. Celebrating with you and praising God for his gracious healing of body, mind and spirit.

  23. That is wonderful news, David. We praise God for his grace in your life. You continue to be in my prayers.
    It is many years since we met through Martin and Robyn Doran, and I am still grateful for the wise advice you gave me then about our new church in Bulawayo in Zimbabwe – where we are also experiencing God’s surprising grace in difficult circumstances.

  24. David, this is wonderful news! God is good. I have been NED for 19 months and initally had a difficult time as to what you describe as “the uncertanity”. God is certain to our paths so give the “uncertainty” to him and all is good. God bless you and stay strong.

  25. Hell David, this is good news for you and a good testimony as well. Mike Rossy told me to read your blog, and Mark Hoare and I spoke briefly about you the other day.

    Just the other week I was diagnosed with Lung Cancer as a stage 3B. FInd out if that has happened that tomorrow when down at TCH, yet to start radio/chemo. However it is indeed refreshing for me to hear good news as I begin my stuggle with the Big C.

    1. Andy, I’m sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Will pray things go well. Have you asked your oncologist about testing for genetic mutations? This might be worth doing.

  26. Just read this. Praise God for his grace and generosity to you. He is good – whatever happens, now and in the future, as you live with uncertainty and with an eternal hope – and this is very good news.

  27. Yay! Praise be to God and thanks to Him too for wonderful doctors and brilliant (but nasty) medicine.

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