Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lots of Results

I saw Dr Specht this afternoon and heard about my scans from the last week. Let's see if I can get it all. So, we know about the tiny spot in my brain MRI. We also know that my spinal cord itself seems to be in good shape. There was a slight anomaly in the neck vertebrae, maybe, that showed up in the spinal cord MRI. However, the bone scan was great—and looked better, in fact, then the last one from 2008. I think that means that even the scar tissue is better? I don't know. At any rate, the bone scan did not show any new activity, including in the neck. And finally, the PET/CTs. The brain scans of the PET showed nothing at all out of the ordinary, but the tiny thing from the MRI may be too small to suck in enough glucose to be visible. The rest of the known lesions in the brain showed no unusual activity, and indeed many seem to be calcifying, which is supposed to be good. The PET of the rest of my torso (down to and including the pelvis) showed three areas of very, very minimally unusual activity, in a couple vertebrae and one back rib. It is likely that this is also cancer activity.

I'm in an interesting place here right now. For one thing, Dr Jason will probably call me and schedule a gamma knife surgery for pretty soon after Japan, to take care of the teeny spot that the MRI has shown, before it has time to cause any more trouble. For the body, though, what to do?

There are lots of options to try in the medical oncology world, and I've been sent home (well, sent to infusion, where I'll be for the next 3-4 hours) with information on two proposed changes to my current meds which, it appears, aren't working quite as well as we'd hoped for keeping everything down. I asked, though, and Dr Specht is tentatively willing to let me try something weird and alternative instead, if I can do it while on Herceptin and Letrozole, and she will scan me again in 3 months and we'll see what's happened. I told her I would write her a research paper on the two things that I'm interested in (I can't remember what they're called at the moment and I'm too lazy to look them up right now), and then make my decision. Several months ago, when I heard about these things, I thought to myself that I wasn't interested in taking any of them at that time—I was evidently in remission and what was the point—but that, if there were a circumstance in which evidence of disease was reassuringly small if not non-existent, I would maybe like to try something new. Not dive in from the very top of the cliff, but jump from a place where I could almost dip my toe, and be sure of not bashing my head in.

This is looking like that opportunity . . .

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