This isn’t going to be a long post because I’m still feeling a bit loopy (just had chemo yesterday). But actually, feeling a little better than the last two rounds, right off the bat, because I had them change one of my drugs from a 30-minute drip to a 60-minute drip and it has made a world of difference, already. However, day 3 (tomorrow) is always my worst, so I won’t speak too soon about feeling great.
Anywho, with this last visit I got to go over the results of my recent lung tests and the PET scan I just had on Wednesday. As a refresher – the lung test was to measure two things – 1. To see if I was breathing better since I had a tumor in my lungs and 2. To see if the chemo drug that produces lung toxicity was having any impacts on me…basically if it was harming my lungs. So we’ll get to those results first.
Lung test results
Doing good! When I first did the test before I started chemo I was 80% (of what? I don’t know). Last week when I did the test, I was bumped up to the 90% range. So my lungs are doing even BETTER than before I had chemo. Great news, for sure. It means I’m breathing better (likely because the tumor is smaller…we’ll get into that in a moment) and also that I’m not seeing any serious side effects from the one chemo drug I’m on that could cause lung toxicity. So, good news!
PET scan results
So the big news. This is the test that looks at where all the cancer cells are in my body. Before chemo, I had cancer showing up along my bones and primarily in my lung. We did a bone marrow test that showed I was negative for having cancer in my bones, but when you see the pictures, you’ll think “how can that NOT be in your bones?” So it’s a mystery. Was the biopsy a small sample size? Or was it just mysteriously lighting up along my bones for other reasons? Well, as you’ll see from the after pics…it no longer matters. Cause it’s gone. So I’ll explain them further as we go through. But overall, AMAZING PROGRESS. WOOHOO!
FYI…When looking at these images, the ones on the left are the before images, the ones on the right are the after images.
Overview of my body
Here’s how you need to look at this view. Everything that’s really dark or black is cancer…except for my bladder, organs, heart and neck/head. So what is it that changed? Well, I highlighted the areas with cancer in the before and after so you can see where it was and where it is now.
See that teeny tiny speck on the right that I did a poor job of circling? That’s ALL that’s left of the cancer. Just that teeny tiny speck! Also notice that my bladder is forming a smiley face…obviously my body agrees with this good news.
Here you’ll see what the tumor in my lungs looked/looks like. This is like if they cut my body across my lung and you’re looking down at that section they cut. The areas that are bright indicate where the cancer is.
Again, not that easy to discern so I took the liberty of circling the cancerous areas.
So again, as you can see, just that teeny tiny little speck!
What does this all mean?
It means things are going really good! I had hoped that I might be able to drop one of my chemo drugs – the one that causes lung toxicity, but there is a score they need to see at a certain level and I didn’t meet that criteria yet. But…that’s not a big deal. As I saw from the lung tests, I’m not being impacted by the lung toxicity yet, so hopefully that will continue. Also, I’ll still continue doing as many treatments as I was told in the beginning. Yesterday I finished round 5, so I have 7 more to go. And we’ll do another round of tests after round 8. So hopefully by then, even that little speck will be gone. One can only hope!
So yeah…I’m doing good. The chemo is working. I’m excited. My doctor is excited. Things are on the up and up!
And to everyone sending me lots of love and prayers and good vibes, you guys are making a difference! Keep it up! And thank you for all your support so far!