Thursday, April 1, 2010

Week 9 Scans

I have now completed the first 9 week segment of treatment for the clinical trial of this new drug.  At the end of each 9 week segment they restage to check the current state of the cancerous masses and compare them to the previous state.  To do this, I undergo a CT (cat) scan that takes very small slices through my body and provides a cross section view of what's inside.

My last CT scan was performed just after Christmas.  Since then I started the clinical trial of the new drug at the beginning of February.  I immediately started feeling improvement.  That improvement has continued and I have felt better in the last several weeks than I have felt in the last several months.  So we were confident that the scans would show progress.  What we didn't know was how much progress we had made or exactly how well the drug was working

There are two main regions that the tumors  are located.  Up until now the scans have shown multiple nodules in my lungs and a couple of enlarged lymph nodes in my pelvic area.  The site that was causing me the most pain and discomfort was the primary tumor in a lymph node on my right side of my pelvis.  This had grown to be over 2 inches in diameter. 

So I met with Dr. Falchook today to go over yesterday's scans.  He shows me the images and we compared yesterday's scans with last December's.  We look at several nodules in the lungs all of which have shrunk.  They are still there but, they are shrinking.  We also compared the  pelvic area scans.  The scans showed no indication of tumor remaining in my pelvic area.  The radiologist that read the scans assumed in his report that the lymph node in this area had been surgically removed.  This doesn't mean I'm completely out of the woods yet.  I still have the tumors in the lungs to deal with and only time will tell if we can get a durable recession from this drug.  But it sure feels great to have been able to make a huge step in the right direction. 

This is far better than I could have hoped for and we have so much to be grateful for.  Not the least of which is the prayers, support, and encouragement we have received from so many of you that have brought to pass this miracle.