Are you kidding me?
Ana had her PET scan today which will serve as the baseline for her tumors before she starts the new drug. I honestly felt optimistic as we left the house this morning even though I worried about how much the tumors had possibly grown or if there would be more of them. I really didn’t think we’d be blindsided…again. I mean, her last scan was barely two months ago.
Here’s a rough approximation of Dr. Yamashiro’s expression when he came out to talk to us about the PET scan results (and keep in mind we were in the midst of a sea of children – tethered to I.V.’s – all with no hair).
He asked us if we wanted to talk to him without Ana in the room – and of course he asked this in front of Ana (probably would’ve been smarter to send a nurse out to say something about “paperwork” or whatever…) We’re not newbies – all of us – Ana included – knew this couldn’t be a good sign.
And it wasn’t.
Ana’s PET scan confirmed that the tumors in her lungs are growing and there are also more of them. This I wasn’t surprised about. But we also got the gut-wrenching news that Ana has a new tumor which wasn’t present at all in her last scan in May. It’s about the size of a quarter and it’s near her bladder – so a totally new location. This tumor wasn’t there just two months ago! The implications of this are…well…the reality of what’s happening is that she has metastatic cancer that seems to be growing more rapidly than what we’ve previously seen. If she had undergone her original thoractomy which was scheduled on June 23rd, then we would’ve learned just a few weeks later that she had another tumor somewhere else in her body.
I do have hope.
I’m hopeful that Jakafi will work to shrink the tumors or at least prevent them from getting larger (and keep new ones from appearing).
I’m hopeful that she has the best care possible. Dr. Yamashiro is committed to keeping Ana as healthy as possible for as long as possible without sacrificing quality of life. He did mention chemotherapy, but when he saw how upset this made her (because of the possibility of losing her hair) he said there are drugs out there that he can try that don’t have this side effect.
I’m hopeful that a combination of therapies such as Jakafi and surgery (at the very least, to remove this new tumor which threatens her bladder) will help her maintain her health even though it may not cure her.
I’m hopeful because she feels good, currently has no symptoms and is generally in good spirits. We went shopping on the way home (at our favorite mall – The Pallisades) and she thoroughly enjoyed herself. Of course, I did buy her more than I usually do…
I’m extremely afraid for her. I’m worried about my baby. But I am still hopeful – each day we have with her is a gift.