Sunday, March 11, 2012

PET Scan, CT Scan & Results

Monday afternoon on the 5th, I received a message from the cancer center... I needed to come in for a B-12 shot a week before my first chemo, " we're canceling your chemo tomorrow and just come in for the shot".

Uhhh??  This will be my 6th chemo and I've never had to get a B-12 shot before?? Umm... **complete confusion**

So I call the cancer center, get voicemail (of course), and leave a message.  "Your message was a bit erratic, this is my 6th chemo not my 1st, very confused, please call back asap."  While I'm waiting for a call back I deduce that my doctor has probably decided to switch me to a different chemo for some reason and failed to include me in the decision.  Slightly irritated, feeling like she again is not giving it enough time, but assuming she has a good reason.

I finally received a call back, the nurse didn't realize I had no idea... decided it may be a note for a second line of defense just in case and told me she would double check with the doctor and call me back.

That's exactly what it was... my doctor was waiting for the results of my scans and wanted to have other medicine ready if the scans weren't good.  Unfortunately, they couldn't get me in for scans as quickly as before and was set up for the same day as my chemo.

Soooo, Tuesday, Mar. 6th, I went in for my PET scan followed by a CT scan then over to the cancer center for the B-12 shot (in case I needed to switch chemo's).  A consultation was set up for Thur., Mar. 8th for scan results.

Thursday, March 8, 2012:  Scan Results

PET scan showed that the area under my armpit was not glowing, the cancer is inactive.  So it seems the radiation did it's job.  There is still a mass there, hopefully it will continue to shrink.

The front chest area is glowing more than it was at the last scan in November.  That has grown a bit more.  There was no radiation done in that area.

The lump we recently found on my left leg was not glowing.  We don't know how long the lump has been there, so it could be one of two things:

  • it was active and the chemo is working, or
  • it is just forming and not yet active
The active cancer that was peppering the bone marrow in my pelvic area... it is no longer glowing, it has become inactive.  There has been no radiation in that area either... so that only means one thing... the chemo appears to be working.

This is fantastic news... but let's keep it realistic, it may not mean as much as it sounds.  Remember, I did CHOP chemotherapy last spring, when I was done the scans showed the cancer inactive.  I appeared to be in remission.  Two weeks later I had a lump growing in my arm and roughly six weeks after, the mass under my arm grew back.  When we did the scan it showed the cancer was back and had spread to other places... and it was becoming more aggressive.

This does mean that since it appears to be working I may now be able to get the bone marrow transplant.  (I recently found out you have to be in a certain amount of remission before you will be considered for a BMT) My doctor decided to keep me on the same chemo I've been taking and has already put a call in to UNC and Duke about the bone marrow transplant.  Then I set up my chemo for the following day and had my bloodwork done.

So it's mixed news... high hopes for the best with a smidge of reality for good measure.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chemo: Cycle 5...

I had my 5th cycle of chemo on Feb. 14th, Valentines Day...  It went well, I got hooked up to the meds then sat back with my mocha and listened to a podcast of "Alcatraz" by Jorge Garcia and Bethany Shady (Sidekick22), you can also listen and follow at Diego's Soul Patch.

If you didn't know, Jorge played Hugo (Hurley) on "LOST" and is currently playing Dr. Diego Soto (Doc) on "Alcatraz".  Bethany is Jorge's girlfriend and partner for the podcast... they had also done a podcast for "LOST" when that was going on... that's where I got hooked.  **In case you decide it's better late than never... Geronimo Jack's Beard: A Lost Podcast.**