In the wee hours of the morning before the day of my medical appointment, I was awakened by a massive tremor and a tremendous « sonic boom »; a sound that evoked images in my mind of some kind of explosion in the distance. With barely six hours of sleep, it was a challenge getting up the next morning. That was the backdrop of the day when I was scheduled to meet with my oncologist to go over my latest test results. That morning the sky was overcast and a cold wind came in from the north to remind us all that winter was approaching. While driving to the hospital, it seemed like all the talk on the radio was about the earthquake last night and the latest testimony of the Charbonneau Commission’s inquiry into corruption in the construction industry. There was little on the air waves to lift my spirits on such an important day; the day I meet my oncologist to get the latest news.
After the required blood sample before to meeting the doctor, I took some quiet time to enjoy a small breakfast and went over my notes and questions one more time before my consultation. Then it was up to the waiting room for a fifteen minute wait and finally I get the call over the intercom to go to room no 5… for the moment of truth.
Overall the post chemo scans and blood test results were positive. But that is where it ends, compared my previous round of scans, the latest imaging tests show the following:
- Residual lymphomas in the bone marrow of the shoulder blade, the third left rib, the 4th lumbar vertebrae and the left hip bone (ilium);
- A small (6 mm) residual lymphoma in the left recessus of the pleural cavity;
- The internal lesion of the spleen had somewhat diminished compared to the previous scan in done in July;
- An X-ray of the lung indicated some kind of anomaly possibly related to an infection in the left pulmonary lobe. This is being investigated with a follow up X-Ray next week.
- There is no evidence of residual lymphomas in the liver or spleen.
- The relevant blood parameters were normal.
My oncologist wants to do another PET scan in November to confirm the current diagnosis. Based on these results, the follow up may include biopsies of certain hotspots to verify if they are malignant or not. This is necessary to better prepare any future course of treatment, if needed.
Another point to monitor is the gradual appearance about two week ago of a dull pain on the left side of my back. This may be correlated to the anomaly that showed up on my X-Ray. I am closely monitoring my vital signs (fever, coughing, weight etc.) including any changes in the level of back pain. So far so good! Further investigations are scheduled the coming week.
I have come a long way since April 2012 when the initial CT and PET scans revealed more than 35 hotspots of either cancer activity or related issues. Despite the uncertainties, I am somewhat comforted in the knowledge that the latest results show only 5 potential sites of residual cancer activity. Not bad at all! But I still have a way to go before I am out of the woods. What is left appears to be mostly in the bone mass. A curious turn of events.
To be continued.