Monday, January 7, 2008
Fewer and smaller
I met with my oncologist today to discuss the results of Friday’s PET scan. As in the previous two scans, there are no metabolic hot spots at all, no signs of active malignancy. The tumors are continuing to shrink and disappear. The largest one is now 8 x 4 mm, down in size from 8 x 9 mm on the prior scan. Things are still moving in a positive direction; all indications are that the cancer is on its way out.
This report comes as a relief. I was nervous about dropping Genasense out of the mix of drugs. My doctor said she wasn’t worried about that, but admitted her concern about the long delay between cycles two and three. We seem to have weathered that storm.
But what does this mean in terms of how much longer I need to be in treatment? Today is the first day of my fourth cycle. Is this the final cycle?
“No,” my doctor said when I asked her this. “I want to see a clean scan first, and then we’ll go one more cycle after that to make sure we’ve gotten it all.”
I appreciate her intelligent, cautious approach to my health, even though I’m not thrilled to be taking these toxic drugs “ad infinitum”, as I heard her say to someone in the hall outside the exam room.
“You weren’t supposed to hear that,” she responded.
She wasn’t condemning me to a lifetime of chemotherapy; just commenting that we’ll go as long as we have to in order to get rid of it all. That’s something I can live with!