“It’s Not What We See…..”


Mo, I think it’s safe to say we all hope your friend L comes out of the hospital with the doctors’ shaking their heads, unable to find any cancer. 

You know the old saying among oncologists…”It’s not what we see, it’s what we don’t see that worries us.”

When we were still new to the ways of cancer, and even though Leroy was told he was a stage-4 colon cancer victim, hearing the news that his lymph nodes were clean following surgery meant everything to us.  In those days, when that was the finding, doctors didn’t prescribe chemo as a follow up to surgery.  Clean nodes, meant, healing and back to life you went, with regular check-ups and scans.  Today, he would have had a series of chemotherapy treatments to catch any of the ‘wild’ cancer cells floating around in search of a new place to root.  As it was, Leroy was just shy of 5 years “clean” when his cancer mets were discovered. 

Even with his regular exams, I’ll always wonder how those tumors went undetected.

So where does cancer go when it hides? 

Does it stay under the radar on check-up days and then when no one is looking..BOOM…it appears in the brain…or the liver…or the lung?  Does it float through the blood stream or the blood/brain barrier waiting for the immune system to have a bad day? I can just picture it, dodging the chemo or ducking the radiation with a smirk on its face. 

I always picture cancer as a “thinking” disease.  It’s far too clever, the way I see it, to be as dumb as a cold or as dull as a bruise.  No, it “thinks” its way through a body. 

How else could it go into hiding, only to be found, when IT feels ready?

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