Monday, July 23, 2018

I heard two "R" words from my Oncologist today...

PET/CT results

So yeah, last you heard, I was prepped for 50 minutes with an injection of radioactive mCi F-18 something or the other, gobbled some cappuccino flavored Barium, and then crawled into a humming tube with my eyes closed for 18 minutes while the tube took 3-D radioactive pictures of my body. Lots of pictures, it turns out. With the magic of modern medicine and availability of results I learned that each of the PET/CT combined pictures are really a composite of 150 +- individual images, or slices of my body. How cool is that?!
Here are two of my favs, not shining so bright these days and that's a good thing. By the way, I do have arms, they just don't appear in the pictures.



Even cooler than that, ALL my organs are clear ("unremarkable" in doc-talk) and everywhere else the beast is either slightly receding or stable, even after reduced dosage of poison and three weeks completely off the palbociclib, my Don Quijote, the big badass cancer-cell poison.

Even my Oncologist was optimistic

And, boy, he's a tough one to please! But he actually said two "R" words to me today. First he started talking about "partial Remission" although I'm not there yet, which is defined on WebMD:  Partial remission means the cancer is still there, but the tumor has gotten smaller. 
Wait wait, don't start dancing, I'm NOT THERE yet!
But he talked  a bit about my cancer "score" which takes into account number of cancer nodes and their size as measured by a mysterious PET-scan-scoring computer no doubt. When the score hits half the beginning score, they start talking about partial remission and possible discontinuation of medication. Making steady progress toward that goal!

Good news is my score is down from the beginning and this last PET shows everything stable, and THAT means we can discard the P-word, or progression phase. Whew! Yay! And the other "R" word he mentioned was Remarkable! He said my stable state was remarkable! Well, heck, I think so too then!

Back on the poison now

I can't hardly believe I'm saying this but I'm happy to be back on the palbociclib starting with tonight's dinner. Yummy. We talked a bit about my very tolerable side effects and long-term quality of life, which in my case are respectively, minimal and new-awesome. I liked it that he used "long-term" quality of life, as opposed to (for example) "have you filed a will yet?" Just a little cancer humor for ya.
So we proceed as before and looking forward to "stable," a very remarkable-stable BTW, and perhaps more "R" words down the line. Meanwhile, I'm going hiking...remarkably hiking...

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