Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Smiling Oncologist

I can read people's faces quite well. Back in June when we first heard the news about my CT scan, the look on the surgeon's face, a young woman, was disturbing. The words that came out of her mouth were, "It's not good. The CT scan is not good." She then went on to explain where all of the tumors were entangled and that surgery would not be possible. Obviously, Dave and I both burst into tears and she tried to reassure us that there was hope--we should not lose hope and she would send us to the best oncologist in Seattle.

My oncologist was smiling today. The minute he walked in the exam room, I noticed his smile. It was a good smile. My own feelings were that things were shrinking but I was obviously way off base in reading signals from my own body before my diagnosis so I have been hesitant to rely on my impressions. Evidently, Tum, the tumor with tenticles, is not faring so well with the chemotherapy. The large tumor in my colon has reduced in size from 7.5 cm to 1.6 cm in diameter. There is no evidence of any tumor entangling my small intestines or my uterus. Of course, the major concern is my liver tumors. The CT report says there is a "dramatic decrease in the size of many of these lesions." The biggest one has decreased in size as well. My liver function is normal and it always has been (probably due to all of the Seattle coffee I drink.) So basically, I am now left with a shrinking tumor in my colon and several shrinking tumors in my liver. The oncologist was pleased with the significant results since I have only had 4 chemos.

The plan is to continue with what is apparently working--chemotherapy. I will continue with my regular schedule of chemo every other Monday. Again, I will have four more chemos and then we will again see via a CT scan how well Tum, the tumor without tenticles, is handling it all.

Thank you to all of you out there who have been praying for me. The prayers have helped. And I will rely on all of you again through this next round!