Thursday, July 5, 2007

Results are in

The doctors are pleased with the results of my CT scan. Evil Priscilla has gone from a 14 cm tumor to a 7.5 x 3.3 cm tumor - almost 50% smaller than she was in April. Some of that could be scar tissue that may never go away, so she could be even smaller. She's not dead, but I'm throwing some serious buckets of water on her to get her to melt like the Wicked Witch. I admit I was hoping the tumor would be even smaller, but at least it is shrinking and the chemo is working. Other good news: Priscilla was compressing my superior vena cava, but she isn't any longer. My lungs look clear and a previous liver lesion has resolved (didn't even know about that). I have normal liver, gallbladder, adrenal glands, and pancreas. Priscilla is still causing problems by compressing my innominate vein (I think it's on the left of the heart).

I start my fifth round tomorrow and my sixth round on July 27. I'll have another CT scan and a PET scan on August 16 to see what's really going on in my body. The PET scan takes a couple of hours and it will "light up" any part of the tumor that's still active. Any scar tissue that I have will not light up during the PET scan. I'm not sure what happens after August 16th, but I have a clinic day that day and I'm sure they'll tell me then what my schedule will be for the future. I know I'll have CT scans every three months for the next year, but I don't know what else to expect.

I had a good holiday yesterday and we have tons of leftover food and dessert. We ended up with four desserts - Jeff's apple pie, Anne's German chocolate cake, Carol's cake, and Sophie's cake. I ate really well yesterday and enjoyed some watermelon (it has skin on it so I can eat it). Mom made potato salad at my request and I have some in my fridge for later. We had burgers, grilled chicken, orzo, potato salad, ambrosia, salad, kinishes, corn on the cob, and a veggie tray. I dutifully avoided the veggie tray and salad, although they were tempting.

It's getting harder not to eat salads because this is the season for them. I recently saw a salad on a menu with dried cranberries, walnuts, and goat cheese - my favorite kind of salad. I adore goat cheese and cranberries on salad and used to bring the ingredients to work for lunch. I have a feeling that I'll be eating this at work when I return (as soon as the doctors give the okay). Yesterday's salad looked really good with shredded carrots, butter lettuce, black olives, cucumbers, and a cranberry walnut vinaigrette. Sigh...salad envy!

I have a massage today at 2:30 and I'm really excited about it. My back started to hurt yesterday from all the cleaning and prepping I did for the barbecue. It'll be nice to pamper myself today since I start chemo tomorrow. I remember thinking last night as I was drifting off to sleep that it will be a few days before I can simply sleep in whatever position I want because I'll be wearing a heavy fanny pack around my waist until Tuesday. I usually have to sleep on my back during chemo and again when I'm in the hospital. I will also have to pre-plan every shower until Tuesday because I have to cover the line placement on my chest with an aqua guard, put the fanny pack in a plastic bag, and hang it on the shower wall so it doesn't get wet.

The doctor told me again today that they're going to try a new antibiotic regimen, which I will start on Wednesday, to keep "the skitters" at bay next week. The antibiotics should hopefully ease my dehydration issues and possibly keep me out of the hospital. I'll still be neutropenic, but I would be at home instead of the hospital. If I get a fever, I will have to go to NIH immediately. I need to think of a shopping list of food I can eat while I'm neutropenic and prepare my frozen slushies that I typically eat in the hospital. I also need to gather a list of people to take me to the hospital in case I need to rush to NIH.


victory4angela said...

A friend found this for me:

50% is a good result, especially if part of that is scar tissue. According to my research, they rate good responses at level 1 (50% or less), Level 2 (90% or less) and level three (90-100%). So you can see that first, it is characterized as a good response – under 50% would not have been – and at 50% with part of it probably being scar tissue – you are really close to level two – right on the edge – which short of making it disappear, is a really good response. So you are probably, most likely in the second category – well on your way to level three and being free of this thing.

Brent said...

She's mmmmeeeeeelllllltttttt-ing, Priscilla's mmmeeellltttttt-ing!

That's awesome news, especially for someone with a birthday coming up ... enjoy!