Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Round #5

so i figured it was time for another update..... you think being in the hospital for 5 days i would be able to blog more.... but it is much more fun to watch movies and take naps.

i went in this last week for another CT and PET scan.

the CT was first, and the results showed that there is still a mass (and always will be) and it is about 5x6x7cm. sooo.... tennis ball-ish. it also showed that where the cancer was eating into my sternum and ribs has started to regenerate! so that is VERY exciting.... my bones healing while i am on chemo. i had been having some chest pain when i would try to lay on my stomach the last couple of months.... and it was because i was pretty much missing some bone. go figure....

anyways.... the bones in my chest are healing. and the CT also showed a gas pocket surrounding the mass. which from what i understand, is just that my organs don't hop right back into place. it takes time for my lungs and such to make themselves back at home.

next was the PET scan.... and can i just say how enjoyable they are?! not. soooooo i sweet talked my PA into giving me a valium beforehand. one of my side effects is restlesness, and laying perfectly still for 30min doesn't exactly work out so well.

they gave us a copy of the PET scan before we left.... and... well..... like they expect me NOT to look at it?! so we went home and popped the sucker into the computer to see what was going on.... i debated whether or not to do this, since i'm not exactly an expert at reading PET scans.... but i figured what the heck. i'm not going to wait 4 days to get the results.

and the PET scan looked clear from the images we saw. i knew not to expect "cancer free" but the difference between the two was DRASTIC. so we did a little pre-celebration and took a mini road trip :-P

so we had our appt with the dr. last tues and the regular PET looks clean, but the thermal(?) PET shows a trace outline of "activity" around the mass. so..... what does "activity" mean? good question. it could mean that there is still a small amount of cancer, or it could mean that my body is still processing the mass.

the truth is, there is no way to know.

so what do we do? i of course was hoping i was done (wishful thinking). the dr. recommended finishing the 2 insurance chemo rounds. so, who am i to argue with an expert? he said he was going to consult again with OHSU and wanted to get more opinions on my case.

the dr. chatted with the top lymphoma specialist at OHSU and he recommended doing 3 rounds and increasing the dosage by 20%. not exactly what i wanted to hear. but in the end its better safe than sorry. one more extra round, or a higher chance of relapsing.

i had to ask the dr. (or more like nolan did because i am chicken) what would happen if we didn't do anymore chemo. and he said he could almost guarantee the cancer would come back. if there is one cell left, it will come back, and come back with a vengeance. so there goes my "wishful thinking"

overall the dr. was happy with where we are. and so are we. we are ready for this to be over, but it is a process!

1 comment:

  1. I think about you guys often and wonder how you are doing. The updates are always nice to read even though like you said in your last post its not easy reliving everything again by writing about it. so happy to hear that you are almost to the end of treatment. what a relief it must have been to hear from the dr the news that he found from the scans. you are in my prayers.