Yesterday I got the results from my latest scan. In talking to my doctor's team, they said it was all positive and they seem to feel very good about it. I, on the other hand, felt like it was a mixed bag. So here's the scoop...
There is nothing showing in my pelvic area and none of my remaining pelvic lymph nodes are swollen, which means that my doctor removed everything that needed to be removed during surgery. Great news!
When they started talking about my lungs, I was a little taken back. They said that there are nodules remaining, but they continue to shrink. They are down to 2 mm and they're not showing any signs of cancerous growth, so they do not pose any reason for concern. Good news!
I just wasn't expecting to hear anything at all about my lungs. When I got the results from my previous scan, they had said that there was no sign of cancer left in my lungs. When I asked them for more details on why these nodules were showing up now, they explained the difference between the two types of scans I get done. My previous scan was a PET scan, which measures metabolic or growth activity. On this scan, anything cancerous will "light up" - the stronger and more rapidly growing the cancer, the brighter it will appear. The scan I most recently had was a CAT scan. This type of scan only measures mass, not growth activity. My doctor would prefer to have both scans done at the same time, but unfortunately, my insurance won't cover that. At least, I've been reassured that we can still get all the information we need doing the scans separately.
So, on my previous scan, there was no cancer to be found in my lungs. However, on this scan, some small apparently non-cancerous nodules were detected. They could be treated cancer or calcified cancer and there's a chance that they could never go away and always show up on my scans for the rest of my life. There's also a chance that they could continue to shrink and totally disappear after these next three treatments. I guess only the next scan will tell...
Obviously, that leads to a prayer request -
Please pray that the nodules in my lungs continue to shrink through these next three treatments and completely disappear by my next scan.
While you're at it, please pray for strength (both physically and emotionally) to get through my next three treatments. To say the least, the cumulative effects of treatment are difficult to get through.
Finally, please pray that my treatment schedule won't hinder me from going on a much-desired mission trip to Haiti this winter. For now, my doctor is saying that I should definitely plan on going (awesome!), but I'm realizing more and more that I very well may still be in radiation treatment by the end of February, which is when the trip is planned for. One thing I know about radiation is that an expected side effect is extreme exhaustion and I so don't want that to keep me from being able to go see Jenny, Linda, and the kids at the House of Hope!