November 30, 2009

5 down, 7 to go!

that's right...i'm almost to the halfway point! although the jury is still out on whether or not we stop after the fourth cycle (eighth treatment) or keep going for the full six cycles (twelve treatments) before it's on to radiation...

you're wondering 'what about your scan?'...well, let's just call it tentatively free of any clear indication of active cancer. my oncologist said that he looked at it and would read it as a negative scan (negative being the goal here), but the nuclear radiologist noted mild uptake "that may or may not represent viable tumor"...which leaves a little gray area. go figure, i seem to fit into so many gray areas. life lesson from cancer #1091...not everything is black and white.

these PET scans are read based on a scale of intensity of uptake from the radioactive glucose. anything metabolic shows uptake (liver, bladder, brain all show uptake, which is normal)...and, since cancer is a metabolic process, it shows uptake. the intensity varies based on the type of cancer and how aggressive it is. at diagnosis, i looked like christmas lights do when you take them out of storage...all balled up, and you plug them in to see if all the bulbs work. just one big lit up mess. now the amount of light coming from it matches just about everything else in there. that's a very good thing. and, the mass that was once the size of a softball is now less than half that. it's really quite amazing to look at the difference...and, this scan was only three months since the first scan.

the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to illuminate a little. i feel just like the little engine that close to the top.

"As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can." it reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, "I thought I could, I thought I could."

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