Thursday, September 10, 2015

Shout It From The Mountains!

We were dreading the routine.  Here we are on 10 September, 25 months into Melinda's cancer fight, sitting in the oncologist office waiting for the results of yesterday's PET scan that monitors the effectiveness of her treatments.  These scans, taken every 2 cycles of treatments (each cycle is a month) are the gold standard for monitoring the growth and spread of her small-cell lung cancer tumors.  Unfortunately, for over the last year now, each scan has been progressively worse, or new spots have popped up in new places, marking a wider spread each time.  Our oncologist, Dr Garland, who we love, always seems to have a new chemo combo to offer as we abandon each treatment that isn't helping her.  But after a year, you would think that the list of options are getting shorter and shorter...

So here we were on another Thursday waiting to get the update.  I asked Melinda, "What is your "spidey-sense" telling you about the results"?  She felt that the results would be good, which I thought was going out on a limb after so many cycles of bad news...  Minutes later, nurse Nancy (yes, really!) came in and said Dr. Garland was in her office doing cartwheels - the PET scan was miraculously good!  Unfortunately, we saw our oncologist's PA (who we also like a lot), and she provided us a copy of the PET report.  There were lots of $5 words, but notably states "Marked interval decrease in size and metabolic activity of the previously identified lymph nodes.  Previously identified left retrocrural, aortocamal conglomerate and periceliac lymph nodes are not seen on today's exam."  One set of lymph nodes that had grown into a single mass in the last scan was now reduced and resolved into 3 smaller spots.  So while we didn't do cartwheels, the ear-to-ear grins we carried expressed our relief!  Good news at last!

So we'll continue with the Irinotecan for a while, and in two more cycles (2 months) hopefully we'll see continued improvement.  She had today's infusion immediately after seeing the PA.  Our buddy Erica sat with Melinda during her treatment as I had to be home for meeting pest control, then we went out for steaks to celebrate, and Melinda finished off her Ribeye without leftovers!  It is amazing how a little good news will brighten your day, week, or for that matter, the entire month of September!  Spread the word!


Andrew Cooper said...

Truly good news! Previous posts here have left little room for optimism, a steady progression of bad news on the cancer front. A little good news is very welcome.

Anonymous said...