The visit with Dr. Callahan started out well. He said the scan's overall results looked pretty good. We jumped right in to review the results. I can say that I fully understand why he said the scan's overall results looked good, the new spots are small when talking cancer. Then we jumped into what a "pretty good scan" looks like for me...
Well, as I mentioned, a good scan in my mind was going in to find out that I still only had seven spots of cancer. That was NOT the case. The seven pre-exiting spots were still present with some changes to those spots, these changes really aren't the important elements here. The important thing is that there are additionally five areas of concern:
- New metastatic lesion in the left thoracic inlet (my left shoulder). This lesion is measuring at 16 mm.
- Increased retroperitoneal disease (another spot near the one I had removed in my abdomen).
- Left pelvic metastatic lymph node - metabolically active.
- Right upper presacral small hypermetabolic nodule is new / much more prominent (inside the pelvis, google it if you want a better visual, I did).
- Mildly hypermetabolic nodule - low rectum left of the midline.
So there are a lot of highly technical terms there. What it boils down to is that I went in hoping that my scan would only show seven spots and instead it showed twelve. This is where we make the important choice, do we continue with the treatment plan or has my cancer spread past the point where Avastin alone is a viable option? The answer is, Avastin alone is no longer a viable option. We are going to move back into a more aggressive chemotherapy regimen. I am going to start, again, next week on Carboplatin and Taxol. We are going to give Avastin a break for now.
So, although this isn't the result we were hoping for. I am in it, we are in it. We are going to move forward with the treatment. I want to be clear, this is a treatment to extend life. Our goal is extension and quality of life with my family and friends. There are more options as the time comes. More options. I am not out of options. I have gotten a wide range of responses to the news about my results. I want to say, don't feel sorry for me. Please be ready to support me, in whatever capacity that might look like.
I have spent the evening with JR and Wylee. I have also been reaching out my family, friends, Cervivor community, and my First Descents Family.
Please continue to share my story. I know I will. I have already had the opportunity this evening to support a woman newly diagnosed with cancer, schedule an event to go and represent Cervivor here in Indiana, and sent an email to reschedule the Pap Rally and Run. Don't think that aggressive treatment is going to stop me. Don't be afraid to come to me for support. Don't be afraid to ask what I need, also, don't be offended if I don't need anything at the moment.
Who is ready for a shaving my head party? Wylee already has plans for designs in my hair!