“Your PET scan looks…”
“…good,” These were Dr. Wonderful’s first words as he sat with Brad and I today in the consult room.
It may not sound like high praise, but Dr. Wonderful doesn’t throw around positive adjectives unless he means them. “Good” from Dr. Wonderful is worthy of a fist pump and a high five. The treatment has been effective against my cancer. Brad remembers that Dr. Wonderful used the word eradicate as he was giving us the details; very close to obliterate. Woo hoo!
As a reminder, PET scan #1 (back in March) showed suspicious activity in the breast, left auxillary lymph node(s), mammary lymph nodes, liver, and spine.
Monday’s PET scan (#2) detected nothing in the lymph nodes, the breast, or spine. There is a very, very small amount of activity in the liver.
These results are good, and they also prescribe the next steps. I’m finding that one thing always leads to another: there is no end to the information that has yet to be gathered.
Over the next month:
-I’ll meet with a cardiologist to evaluate my heart function, and, hopefully, do whatever it takes so that I can resume taking Herceptin (the biological drug–not a chemo drug) that allows my immune system to identify and fight the cancer. This is a critical step; Herceptin is a real-life miracle drug in my treatment plan.
-I’ll have a spinal MRI to confirm there is nothing there.
-I’ll have a liver MRI to get a better look at the activity there. There are two possibilities for the liver activity: it is something benign (abnormal, but not worrisome), or it is metastasized cancer. As of now we simply don’t know. Over the next month, Dr. Wonderful will run tests and gather information and consult with other medical experts. He will likely schedule a consult with a liver expert. I (We) will be still and pray.
-I’ll have surgery one week from today to remove the breast. We are optimistic about surgery and are hoping/praying for clear margins all the way.
-In three weeks we will get the surgical pathology reports from the breast and the lymph node(s). The post-surgicial pathology reports will give Dr. Wonderful more information about my cancer and how to move forward.
As you can see, there are a lot of juggling balls in the air. Each one is unique and important in the overall picture. I’m holding tight to the “good” that Dr. Wonderful described. Next week’s surgery will not be the end of the journey; it is one more item on the list.
Herceptin infusion. Suspended; resuming ASAP.
Breast surgery. 8/30.
Hormone Therapy, Radiation, Liver analysis, Heart analysis, Spine analysis. Yet to come.
Today I asked him specifically, “Can I still be cancer free?”
He said, “Yes.”
I smiled. The journey is “good”. I celebrate “good” today.