Today Dr. Duane and I reviewed the radiologist reports from the PET scan and the MRI. Most everything looked good. There are 3 tumors that didn’t shrink but remainded the same. We expected that one of them wouldn’t shrink as it is actually a benign tumor and the chemo doesn’t effect the “good” tumors. We didn’t count to see if any of them completely disappeared, but it looked like a couple might have. Keep in mind-“disappeared” may just mean that they shrunk so small they can’t be seen by the scan.
Here is part of the official report from the PET scan:
“There is no hypermetabolic activity in the neck. There is no abnormal hypermetabolic activity in the chest. The hepatic metastases are decreased in size on CT and do not demostrate hypermetabolic activity. There is no abnormal hypermetabolic activity in the abdomen or pelvis. There is no abnormal skeletal hypermetabolic activity. There are no destructive bone lesions.”
PET Summary: “In comparison to 1/29/09 scan, the hepatic metastases are decreased in size and no longer demonstrate hypermetabolic activity”.
MRI Summary: “Some of the liver lesions show mild improvement. No new lesions are identified.”
Before they do a PET scan, they inject you with glucose. After the injection you wait about 45 minutes for the glucose to get into your system. What the glucose does is get absorbed by fast growing cells-i.e. the cancer tumors(lesions). In the above reports they keep referring to “Hypermetabolic activity”. What that refers to is, did the cancer cells actively absorb the sugar? If the cancer cells/tumors/lesions are actively absorbing the sugar, then it means they are active. If they are active, then they light up the scan showing us they are alive and happy. So it is significant when they note above”no hypermetabolic activity”. It kind of means these tumors are not happy and not active and definitly not growing. It does not necessarily mean they are dead.
My summary-overall pretty good results, not great as there are still several tumors still living and a couple did not shrink. Also, the fact that they are not active is very good. In January these tumors were active. Also, I like the fact that a 2nd set of chemicals worked against the tumors. It seems like sometimes only one or the other works against the cancer. Dr. Duane is in agreement that it is time to move back to the Liver Surgeon, Dr. Sielaff, to get his perspective again. I had already scheduled an appointment with him weeks ago in anticipation that we were going to head back to him even if the tumors were unchanged. So my appointment with him is next Thursday the 25th. Dr. Sielaff is a straight shooter and will give us a quick dose of reality once he reviews the scan. I generally go into see him with high hopes, but come out with a very sobering picture. I am still guessing that he will agree to do the surgery, but it is in his hands now. What it means for me is no chemo. for this week and at least next week. If he agrees to do the surgery, there will be no chemo for quite awhile. You need to be off chemo for 6-8 weeks before they can do surgery. Even if I have surgery, we still do 6-8 rounds of chemo after you have healed from the surgery.
So for now, I will just count my blessings and enjoy this break from chemo. My body needed a break, it hasn’t healed up from the last round.
We are at Chuck and Dianne’s(Karen’s parents) for the weekend getting spoiled and rested up.
Thank you for all the love, support and prayers!