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. 

19 comments:

the Picketts said...

Such great news! We hope the trial will continue to be successful.

RLRP said...

Yay yay yay. Yay. I don't know what else to say. Yay. I think I need to go shed a tear now. Thanks for sharing this terrific progress.

Amy said...

Wow! Sooooooo grateful!! Will continue to pray for you all.

Amy

ghd3 said...

WOW.

Wow.

I am nearly in tears here reading this. So great. Well done Ben! Truly a remarkable outcome, for so many reasons. Thank you for sharing this news. I realize there's still work ahead, but this is extremely positive news -- so grateful, and happy for you and Allison!

Can't wait to see you. You remain in our prayers. And many others, I know.

God bless.

Katy said...

We have been anxiously awaiting the results from your scans and HOORAY!! This is wonderful news. So glad you're feeling better, and here's to more positive results in the future.
Love,
The Smiths

Bonnie said...

We are so happy to hear of good progress. We continue to pray for you, Allison, and your family. Great News!!!

amy said...

Hurray! We couldn't be happier about this news! Wow. So glad that the drug is working and that you are feeling better physically lately. Keep it up!
john and amy

Jane Durham said...

yes! so glad!

Sarah said...

Ben and Allison,
We are rejoicing with you over this news!!!! Lets pray that this trend continues. We love you both.

Sarah & Chad

marie said...

wow - how fantastic! congratulations! one more reason I love MD Anderson. they do amazing things! as does so much prayer on your behalf, right? we're so happy for you!

Anne said...

:)

Sara Langston said...

So happy for this much needed miracle! We'll keep you in our prayers! -Sara (Dunlop) Langston

Jardinefamily said...

That is such great news. James and and think of you and pray for you often. Enjoy your Easter weekend.

Rob said...

Great news. So glad to hear things are working out so well. Praying that you continue to see this kind of result.

James Pearce said...

That's great to hear, Ben! Thanks for the update.
James & Anna

Margaret said...

Awesome. We're rooting for you!

Barry & Margaret

Courtney said...

Continuing to ponder this miracle! We are so blessed to have you with us and feeling good! We love you!

Smarties said...

Great, great news! We are so happy for you as well. Our prayers will continue to be with you and your family. Love to you and Allison!

Anonymous said...

Ben,
Please email me when you can adam(at)thebutlerbros(dot)com
My dad is taking part in this study beginning next week. I'd like to compare notes and connect. I am a father of three youngsters just like you. I'd guess we are about the same age. Really pulling for you bro! Perhaps we can connect in Houston and have chat in the halls.
Adam