Friday, August 29, 2008

Thinking Out Loud

As I talked to Scott last night about the CT scan results, I had the following thoughts that might help explain them.

I found out in February that I had both skin and bone mets. I started taking Xeloda and Tykerb in mid-February. We hoped that the drugs would take care of the skin problem.

Well, they didn't. So, I started daily radiation treatments at the beginning of June.

If you think about it, the skin mets were in the area of my right breast, the primary site of the cancer. I think of the primary site as a factory that continued to make cancer cells. The cancer was in the lymph channels, which then are connected to the lymph system throughout my body.

As long as I still had cancer in my skin, cancer cells were still growing and then circulating throughout my body. What the CT scan showed is that I had no NEW areas of growth. I take that to mean that the drugs Xeloda and Tykerb were indeed effective at stopping any further progression of the disease. As further evidence, the bone mets really didn't grow either.

But the meds were so busy keeping any new growth from occurring (and only so much of the medication is circulating in your body at any given time) that there was hardly anything left to tackle the little tumors in my bones - the meds kept them from growing, but there wasn't enough to make them disappear.

Now that the radiation has shut down the cancer cell factory in my skin, the meds may finally have the chance to tackle what's left in the bones. Zometa may help the meds get the upper hand there.

Whaddya think? Makes sense to me . . .

4 comments:

Carver said...

I think that makes perfect sense and I'm betting your scans will get better and better ! ! !

jeanne said...

Dee: I'm inclined to write "hang in there" and "keep on keeping on" but you are doing so much better than that. I admire and applaud your mental toughness. (Fractured ribs from sand volleyball? While I'm sorry that you've got rib fractures, I gotta say, that's a helluva way to get them!!) nyc j

laurie said...

Makes sense to me too. Here's to disappearing tumours.

Dee said...

Hi Carver, Jeanne, and Laurie,
Well, I'm glad that I make sense! And, I appreciate all of you visiting and wishing for better scans and disappearing tumors! I do appreciate it.

And, NYC Jeanne, as for the mental toughness, I appreciate the compliment and I must say that it sometimes surprises me, too. My counselor commented that if someone had told me all that I would go through these past 9-10 months, I might've been overwhelmed and depressed. But now I know that I can get news like that and come out the other end more or less intact. It does get easier.

I really don't know how my doc reacted when I told him that I probably fractured them after playing volleyball . . . I hope he got a chuckle out of it!