Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PET-CT results with photos

Here are the before and after photos from my scans. The first one is from January 30th and the second one is from June 19th, after eight rounds of chemotherapy.

The light areas represent uptake of the radioactive tracer (i.e. thar be cancer!). Some light areas that can be ignored are the brain (top of the photo), heart (center), and the bladder (bottom). As you can see, there were numerous cancerous nodes in my neck, chest, and abdomen. Now, however, they're gone. Yay for science!

I will still continue with my last four chemo treatments so as to eradicate the microscopic traces of the cancer that may be lingering. Take no prisoners! Then, I'll have another scan in six months to make sure none of those pesky cancer critters came back.

Friday, June 19, 2009

PET-CT: Survey says....

I had my PET-CT scan done today. They basically inject me with radioactive glucose that gets gobbled up by cancer cells. Wherever it glows, bad news. Back in January, I looked like a Christmas tree, and today I'm glad to say that I look like North Korea at night . [Translation: no visible signs of cancer.]

These are preliminary results, and I'll get the full lowdown when I meet with the doc on Monday. Nevertheless, it's definitely the news I wanted to hear. This means I should just need 2 more months of chemo, which is good because I'm not too fond of the stuff.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Chemo Round Eight

Number Eight came and went yesterday, and it was probably the smoothest so far. One of the drugs, DTIC, feels like fire when it hits the vein, so it's been a trial and error process to figure out the right speed and dilution of saline solution to minimize the pain and overall time in the chair. I think we finally nailed it. I felt good enough to treat myself to a new Slipknot CD (yes, I'm still a metalhead, folks) and dinner at BisonWitches (where any Tucsonan knows you better bring your appetite) with some good friends.

Last weekend I felt strong enough to make it out to San Diego to see my family and go to a wedding (T&L, congrats!). I resisted partying too much, but doc says my liver held up quite nicely anyway. I'm also proud to say I dodged that trendy swine flu without having to wear a mask.

I'd like to give some shout-outs to friends. Thanks for the encouraging words from fellow "lymphomaniacs" JG and TS, and special congrats to TS for 5 years of health. I can't wait to have this in my rear-view mirror, too!

Also, a shoutout to (DSP Bro.) LA and her friends for launching a new lymphoma/leukemia charitable organization. You can check out the details on MAV Foundation here:
and here

Thanks for the continued encouragement everyone!

June 19: PET-CT scan. We'll find out whether all that chemo is really doing its job.
June 22: Chemo Round Nine