I had scans done Wednesday. An MRI and CT scan to track how my treatment is progressing. Tomorrow (Friday) I meet with the oncologist to determine future treatment plans. You may remember that I have an excel sheet which is tracking the size of my lesions (tumors). Seems kind of funny to call them “my lesions”. Truth is they have become a big part of my life. These tiny, measured in millimeters, lesions are really shaping the way I experience and live life.
The scan reports are in. My nurses and doctors can see them. However, the results are not posted on my medical portal yet. The nurses are not allowed to share the results with me. My nurses, the ones who would help me see the results, are not working today. After a phone call to the doctor’s office to try and get numbers for the excel sheet Nicole called.
Nicole is my PA. She is great, and I have grown to really appreciate her. When I answered her call she said, “Go get a beer, the results look great!” Not one for simple answers I pressed her for numbers. “How big are the lesions? Are they shrinking?” She replied, “They show no signs of growth, I am happy, so you should be happy.” I pressed some more but could not get raw numbers out of her. Finally, I sighed and said, “You are happy, I should be happy…time for me to get a beer…see you in the morning.” She laughed and said she would see me in the morning.
I was hoping to get some numbers to plug into my excel sheet before meeting with Dr. Saroha but if Nicole is happy, I am happy.
More Maintenance Chemo
Today I met with my oncologist. Dr. Saroha and I talked about all kinds of options moving forward. There were the normal three options. Continue high dose chemotherapy, take a full break, or do maintenance chemo. We decided to run a course of maintenance chemotherapy starting this coming Monday. In my case maintenance chemo involves removing one drug and keeping the same treatment schedule. It should be less impactful to my body and yet still be therapeutic.
I finally got a look at the numbers from my scans. They did not show any growth, but they certainly did not show any signs of shrinking either. “Stable is good” was the word for the day. This was what my team had expected, and they were pleased with the results. Apparently after a certain time the treatments have a less dramatic effect upon the tumors and things plateau. Where we once saw marked decrease in size the goal is now to see stability (no growth).
I was hoping for a full break. It would have been nice. I could have taken one if I had pushed for it. So far on this journey Dr. Saroha has been largely correct about what we have seen and experienced. His expectations and predictions have been right on and I value his opinion. When I told him my goal was to extend my life as long as possible he started to schedule my treatment for Monday. I value his opinion and am thankful to have someone so knowledgeable and compassionate walking with me through this journey. It is hard to believe we have known each other for over two years now.
I went back to my office following a quick lunch with Nancy. It was hard to focus, I was easily distracted. There were opportunities to share the news of continued treatment but I felt like holding it close for a season.
God is Good All the Time…All the Time God is Good
Even when you do not get to take a break and have to continue chemotherapy.
Last trip to the oncologist I noticed that there was a place on my paperwork titled “Goals”. The space underneath this category was blank. I pressed the receptionist about this. “Why is this blank?” She could not answer. I assured her that I did have a goal. “I want to be alive and kicking five years from now.” You could list that as my goal and never change it. It is one goal that will never need to be adjusted or adapted as the years progress. I intend to be “alive and kicking” five years from now! If it is my goal it ought to be listed on my paperwork. She assured me that she could help make that change…I am not holding my breath. 😊