Topic: Unbelievable PET Scan Results
We received my husband's PET scan results yesterday and we, and his doctors, are amazed. The PET shows NO CANCER in his liver or abdomen! Today, his oncologist told him she believes his tumor is dead and atrophied with the left lobe of his liver. There are no other visible tumors in his body! Both the oncologist and our primary care physician are dumbfounded and can't explain what has happened.
A little history--Dan was diagnosed with cc in August, 2005. Resection was attempted, but stopped after finding "abdominal studding" --it had spread to his gallbladder, abdomen, and diaphram. He began treatments with Xeloda and Gemzar in October 2005 and has continued these treatments, except for interruptions because of infections, fluid accumulation and blood clots. At the time of diagnosis, his tumor measured 6.1 cm. Subsequent CT scans showed the disease had stabilized and in early August 2006 the CT showed the tumor had decreased to 3 cm. The PET scan taken last week shows no active tumors and, like I said above, the oncologist believes the tumor is dead.
We still have a large hurdle ahead of us. The PET did show some "hypermetabolism" in the pericardial area--the sac surrounding the heart. We know that this cancer can metasticize to this area, but the oncologist does not believe at this time that it is cancer. She said it is probably fluid accumulation from the large cyst Dan has on his liver (he's had this cyst since before diagnosis). She's ordered an echocardiogram to try and determine what this may be.
Whatever the outcome, we feel we have been given a miracle and we thank God for the gift we have been given. Seven months ago, our oncologist suggested we call hospice and we even had a hospice volunteer at our home to get us to "sign up" for hospice care. Dan just wasn't ready to give up so we decided to continue the chemo and keep fighting.
We are cautious and know this disease doesn't let go. You can never let down your guard and we realize it could all change over night. But, after 13 months to be told his tumor has died and that there is no sign of cancer in his abdomen--it is more than we could have ever hoped for.
We will follow through with the echocardiogram and, if it is clear (please pray it is), we are going to USC to see Dr. Lentz to ask what Dan needs to do. He was suggesting resection when we met with him last and it we are excited to learn if he believes that this is still an option.
No matter---we are ecstatic and so very thankful. No matter what happens, we thank God for today and the wonderful news we've been given. We can't ask for more!