January 18th, 2009: Alert: upcoming results of CT scans and MRI plus next treatment plans to be announced on Nov. 20th.
This Tuesday will be a very big day in everybody’s life on planet Earth starting with Obama’s inauguration in the morning. If only that happened: dayenu (Hebrew, “It would have been enough.”).
At 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday Eileen Lemus and I have an appointment with Dr. O’Donnell and Dr. Jahan together. The purpose of this visit is to review the scans taken on Jan. 12th. These images will be compared to the earlier scans taken in mid-October before my chemo treatments started. Basically, they will measure the effectiveness of the first two courses of drugs. The third course had just ended at the time of the scans so its impact can’t be full included.
On the computer screen, Dr. O’Donnell will retrieve images that show how much the chemo has accomplished over the past two moths. My hope—for the record—is that all the lung tumors and 1.6 cm. “spot” on my liver will have vanished. Also, I have big hope that the primary tumor in my pelvis has substantially shrunk including a de-peeling from its connections to an inner thigh muscle.
A big question concerns the tumor’s penetration of my pubic bone. This was how the cancer was originally noticed on an X-ray after my hip replacement, and it’s the source of much of the pain I’ve experienced walking and sitting. My hope is that Dr. O’Donnell doesn’t need to remove any of my pubic bone because it’s a vital piece of the pelvic architecture and replacements can be difficult. I’d like to keep this easy. Yes, that’s what I’d like.
There was a prior agreement that if the tumor was still sizeable, that a fourth chemo session would be scheduled. However—good news!—I was set up for an appointment with Dr. Kristen Greene on Friday, January 23rd which tells me that my original surgical team is being pulled together again. This tells me that the tumor shrinkage I’ve experienced is very real and that the surgical team feels like they can go in soon to remove the remaining mass of Haughty Foe.
The surgical removal of the primary tumor and the eradication of the metastasized sites on lung and liver is my hope for outcome of all this effort. That will mark the physical removal of known cancer from my body. What a happy prospect! After talking with the doctors on Tuesday, I’ll get the results of what I hear onto the blog as soon as I am able, and, as always, my appreciation to all of you have supported and cared for me during this journey though illness into healing.