Re: Ben's "amazing" scans...
So - here I am again posting in the good news section - something I wasn't expecting. I feel somewhat guilty for not visiting the board more often - but have had an incredibly busy summer at work and at home. I think of everyone out here often, but admittedly sometimes struggle with getting here as I do find it emotionally difficult.
I know everyone is aware of the rollercoaster that CC sends us on - and every scan brings a new ride. You will see in my history that my partner Ben was diagnosed about one year ago (last year at this time we were at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN). He successfully finished the standard gem/cis protocol in April and outside of fatigue at the end had very few side effects.
His first two scans after chemo were very positive and our local radiologist could not see anything remaining in his liver. We sent one of the scans to both MD Anderson and Mayo Clinic for a second opinion in July - and both came back and said that the tumor in his liver was still there, but both said it had been reduced by almost 50%. So, while we were disappointed that it wasn't "gone", the doctors were still elated that it had reduced by 50% (this shows why it's always good to get a second opinion on everything).
Also, late in July our oncologist called and said that Ben's kidney functions in a blood test showed some deterioration - so he sent us to a kidney specialist who ordered an ultrasound and additional tests. That of course added to our anxiety level.
Luckily - I am still reporting in the good news section. This past week we had follow-ups with both the kidney doctor and our oncologist after Ben's new scan on 8/30/11. The Kidney doctor said the ultrasound showed no abnormailities - and his kidney function is within a fairly "normal range"...so he suggested no major changes to diet, etc. The radiologist report once again reported no new growth and not really anything much of interest (we are going to send these scans again to Mayo and MD), but our Oncologist continued to be encouraged and a bit amazed at Ben's present state.
So - at this point, one year from diagnosis (with a 6-18 month prognosis), Ben's CC has been reduced by at least half and is somewhat undetectable (although we know it's still lurking), he feels absolutely normal - there are no side effects, he goes to the gym, all his hair has returned and we are now planning our fall vacation schedule. Our Oncologist said that it would be at least 2 months until the next scan so we just continue on.
So, that's all for now, we just continue to live one day/week/month at a time - as always if anyone at anytime wants to be in touch just click my email link to the left and you will get my email and I promise to respond.
p.s. Marion - if you read this I haven't forgotten about the conference in Miami in October - but I've forgotten the specific conference and dates. If we aren't traveling on vacation I still plan on helping out so let me know the timing again.
Don't give up!