Time to do a little catching up.
I had my 12th PET scan last week Monday. Alas and alack all over again... no new superpowers. But the results from the scan were very positive. The two metastasized lung tumors showed positive reaction to the first round of chemotherapy. The left tumor shrank and had reduced uptake of over 50%, almost putting it in a normalized range of metabolic activity. Which means it's almost not worth worrying over. The tumor in my right lung had shrinkage of about 40%, though it is still worth worrying over. But as the FOLFIRI cocktail seems to be doing its job and my bloodwork this Monday was all in positive ranges, we started a fresh 6-session round again this week. I only have a couple more hours before I get the 5-FU pump taken off and that will be the finish of session one.
My medical oncologist was very upbeat in our meeting on Monday. The updated plan for the time being is to (1) do this second round of chemo, (2) have another PET scan and, if the results are similarly positive, then we can (3) do a round of radiation on the lung tumors. The advantage of moving to radiation is that we can then take a break from any treatment for a few months. If we follow this plan and I am reading my calendar correctly, then that means that I should be treatment free by early June. And *that* means I'll be able to truly enjoy the summer - a wedding, couple of camping trips, 50-Year, the beach for a week maybe, Pennsic, possibly abroad to Greece in the late summer. And I am stoked about all the potential of a great summer and fall.
To clarify, and ground everyone a bit, remember that we are not looking at a cure for me. We are controlling the cancer as best we can to give me the best quality of life for as long as possible. And there is still the unknown about how the brain tumors are doing. The radiation we did back in October did cause some shrinkage (and one seems entirely gone), but we won't get an eye in on their progress until my next MRI scan in March.
I, of course, remain persistently hopeful and work hard at staying positive. Optimism may have bitten me in the ass a time, or five, but it's still my favored mindset. There's always so much more new to see and do and converse about; my curiosity continues to drive me relentlessly forward. I may not have gotten the sudden ability to fly, but my soul is a wild, uncaged bird. And, yes, there are bad days. I just choose to keep my focus on the good ones.
I am open to conversations about all of this. I expect I will see many of you in the next few weeks at Val Day, or Gulf War, or personal visits. *This* is my favorite part of the days to come - seeing all my wonderful, loving peeps and basking in the joy of you.