Monday, January 24, 2011

CT Scan Results and Visit with Dr. K

Or, aka, "Some Good News and Some Expected News".

The good news is that the treatment regimen appears to be working systematically, that is, throughout my body, in my system. There appears to be only scar tissue in the lungs now - *maybe* one spot that may still be a tumor, but for the most part, the areas are smaller and it looks like scar tissue. I had multiple spots in my lymph nodes in early fall - no mention of those on this CT scan. And, a suspicious spot on the liver (which Dr. K didn't think was a tumor) is gone.

So, the treatment is working at some level. That made me feel better about how fatigued I feel. I'm not quite bouncing back from the last chemo - it's getting harder to do so. Even today, ten days post treatment, I still feel dead dog-tired.

But the CT scan still shows a mass under my armpit - which I can see, so obviously I knew it was there. The good news is that the diseased tissue doesn't extend all the way down to the bone - there's a nice layer of tissue so the surgeon might be able to get 90-99% of the cancer there. Also, there's a spot that is on the scar tissue of my TRAM flap breast, near the breast bone, is apparently a tumor. It's grown in recent months, but I didn't really notice it until a month ago. It's a hard nodule about 3cm long and maybe 2cm wide. Plus there are spots in the bone marrow, but it doesn't look like there are more of them since the last one.

So, what's the plan, man?

Because February is a busy month for me with all sorts of work and fun activities, and the surgeon, Dr. F, is away at a conference around March 3-4, it looks like I will have surgery the week of March 7. That will give me three weeks of recovery before classes start March 28.

So, I have my last HAZ treatment on Friday the 28th - Herceptin, Abraxane, and Zometa. Then, I will have another Herceptin treatment upon my return from Hawaii on Feb 14th and before we go to Eddie's school tournament. Then, I'll have three weeks off of any chemo before surgery.

I'll visit the radiation oncologist in mid-February because we might do some radiation to get rid of any residual cancer in the area. And probably do radiation on the nodule near my breast bone. That may happen through the beginning of spring term.

There's some light at the end of the tunnel, in other words. In six weeks or so, I will be done - you hear that, DONE - with the wound in my armpit. I'll say that again, DONE with dressing changes in about six weeks. DONE.

Can you tell? I'm happy about that.

Afterwards, we just need to start thinking of what to do next. That'll depend on where I stand.

This also means that beginning two weeks after my last Abraxane treatment, around mid-February, my hair can start growing back. That's good because I think my eyebrows and eye lashes are definitely thinning out lately. I haven't had bushy Eskimo brows in a few months! LOL

I also hope that Dr. H, the plastic surgeon, can get rid of the dog ears at my waist since he will be there anyway taking tissue from the Lat area for a LAT flap. He may also need to take out the implant and put in another one since Dr. K and I could both see that the cancerous tissue went all the way to the implant. I hope that they make implants that are flatter - i.e., not so round - since my TRAM flap boob is flatter rather than round. He said he can also lower it so that I'm more even.

Looks like it will be a good spring for me - no wound, maybe more even boobs, no dog ears, and hopefully, NO CANCER!!! Well, there will always be evidence of cancer in my bone marrow. But let's say NO GROWING CANCER!!


Joanna said...

Overall, this sounds like really good news. It sounds like a plan that is going to work. I am so glad to hear you are having positive results. And you will have hair!!!

Shannon said...

All is sounding on a positive trend. I am truly happy for you and hope this continues! SO can we plan a no wound, even boobs, maybe no cancer, hair re-growth and energy boost party sometime late spring? My house, you just give an invite list!!!

Dee said...

@Joanna, yes it is great news. What they saw was 1) scarring left from dead tumors; 2) shrinking tumors; 3) stable disease; and 4) necrosis in one area. I'll take that.

But I'm very happy, too, that my hair can start growing back soon!

@Shannon, I will definitely take you up on your offer in late spring! I will be in touch!