I was awakened this morning at 5:45am by my husband in my face,
“Your PET scan results were posted!”
“Is it good??”
“Uhh…just come downstairs.”
Crap. Pardon my French haha, but that’s literally what ran through my head. As many of you know, I had a full-body PET scan last Tuesday after my first infusion of the PD1 Antibody thingy (I really need to figure out what that’s actually called!) So as we’ve not-so-patiently waited to hear from my oncologist for the week, we came to two very different conclusions: either it was good news and just got dumped to the bottom of the pile to call or it was bad news and he was getting all the info before calling. Unfortunately, it was the latter. I actually, at the loving hounding of my husband, called my oncologist’s cell phone this morning because it seems that he was just never gonna call me. Not cool. Sorry, but if you give me your cell phone number and you hold pertinent information regarding my health and well-being, I’m gonna use it. Your fault, not mine, lol. But he did answer and was able to discuss the results with me and the implications of them. So here goes:
The cancer has metastasized into multiple lymph nodes surrounding my lungs and also into my hip bone. Yikes. I don’t know a lot about cancer in the bone, but I know enough about it to know it’s not good. My oncologist mentioned several times how aggressive my cancer is. Great. None of this is adding up to the good news I had hoped for! There is some good news though, the lymph node in question before on the left side of my neck took up a significant amount less dye and it shrunk so I think we are done worrying about that little bugger. And besides some “scar” on my right lung (??) nothing showed up there.
Here’s a look at the final report:
And here’s what we’re gonna do about it: nothing. For now at least. Dr A seems to think it’s best to let the chemo work and check another PET scan in three months. He says there’s a 40-50% chance that this new drug will shrink the tumors. He says as long as there’s no pain in my hip (which there isn’t), that we can’t really do anything for that anyway. I verified this with my sister in law, who is a radiation tech, and she agreed. So I feel better about it now. At first I was very hesitant to do nothing. Like, isn’t there something we could do?! As long as I’m not showing symptoms (pain for the hip lesion and for the lymph nodes around my lungs it would be cough, shortness of breath, that kind of thing) he wants to just let the drug do its thing and check another PET scan in three months. So that’s what we’ll do! As long as I’m asymptomatic, at least. If symptoms crop up, he can bump up the PET scan and I’m due for another MRI of my brain in about a month.
Can’t lie, I kind of saw this coming. I’m not saddened or surprised, more just frustrated. It feels like I’m being violated by this cancer. I have no control over what it does to me or where it goes next. I feel helpless, but certainly not hopeless! God is our great comforter and He has provided all that He promised He would. This news is infuriating because I really freaking hate cancer!! But, with my stage (4) and apparent aggressive form of it, I’m not sure I should expect anything else. So I will stay the course and see where it takes me.
So, I’m gonna ask for a favor here. I have so many people praying for us, that I know I don’t even need to ask for that. Seriously, if it weren’t for people lifting us up in prayer, I’m pretty sure I would be a sobbing hysterical mess right now. But I’m ok. What I want to ask of you is that if you know someone who tans, whether laying out or, even worse, in a tanning bed, please, please tell them about my story. I’m 30 years old and now have cancer in my blood, brain, lymph system, and bones, but it all started on my skin. I am faced with the harsh reality of leaving my kids and husband sooner rather than later. Melanoma is a horrible, horrible cancer. Yes, if you find it early it can have a high “cure” rate, but if not, you end up where I’m at. It’s not worth it. And it can happen to anyone. Please, spread the message.
And be prepared to get an earful if you ever, EVER talk to me about tanning 😉