Friends and Family,
Genevieve and I are back in San Diego again, for all of the pokes and prods, scans and samples that are part of this latest three-day trip. We were tense waiting to hear the results from my CT scan, which was completed yesterday. It's the first one since I started taking AZD9291. By noon today we were in full "scanxiety" mode, still waiting for results five hours after we got to the hospital.
We also had a new concern. Over the past five days I have had pain in my lower back that was shooting down my right leg. I had the same pain in the same place exactly one year ago. It got bad enough that I was in a wheelchair on a few occasions (airports, OMSI with the grandkids, and other events that required a lot of standing) over the course of a few months. Dr. Patel made sure the scan covered that area so he could find out if the cancer spreading.
One of the staff decided that we shouldn't have to wait any longer, so in between EKG's she gave us the Cliff's Notes version of the reports. It was decidedly mixed. The report for my lungs showed some shrinkage, but the one for my hips indicated that there were a few new lesions.
This wasn't what we were hoping to hear. What did it mean that it was growing in one place and shrinking in another? My mind was racing, thinking about getting my affairs in order, and treatment alternatives - all the familiar ruminations. Genevieve was true to her own way of coping under stress, as she withdrew into a blank stare.
We had seen Dr. Patel before my scan yesterday, so he planned to release the results today, but not to see us again. After the report we had just seen, that was not going to work. I pushed to have the doctor see us.
I'm glad I did. When he popped in a couple hours later, he was all smiles. He pronounced the results a total success.
He said that what appeared to be new cancer spots on my bones was actually the cancer dying in those places, which made them easier to see on the scan. His complete confidence and experience with similar results was enough to convince us!
He also elaborated on the lung scan. Many of the countless baby tumors had disappeared, and many of the others were smaller. The biggest one shrunk from 24mm down to 7mm. Overall, he said the cancer had reduced in my lungs by 60-70%. YEAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have a new favorite oxymoron now: "Massive Shrinkage!"
Now, about the lower back problem. It is not cancer. He thinks it may be a slipped disc or similar, something that should be treatable with a cortisone injection or similar. He said an MRI should define it more clearly. That sounds much better than either cancer, or the "torn disc" that it was (mis?)diagnosed as last year.
Let's see... Shrinking cancer and a back problem that may be easily treated?
I love the holiday season. Today was a little bit Christmas and a lot of Thanksgiving. There is a lot to be grateful for.