Clinging to Hopeful
Ana had the pelvic and abdominal ultrasound yesterday to visualize the new mass they discovered near her bladder on her PET scan on 7/7. The abdominal part was probably just to evaluate her liver, though I was definitely worried they’d discover something that they didn’t originally see on the PET scan (which, in retrospect, is highly unlikely – but it’s hard not to worry about being blindsided all the time).
The news is cautiously optimistic (in that it’s not bad). The mass appears roughly the same size as it was on the PET scan two weeks ago. It is rather large at roughly 6 cm x 4 cm x 4 cm but isn’t currently threatening any organs.
She’ll get another PET scan in two weeks (hooray for TWO weeks of not schlepping 2 hours to the hospital for a harrowing scan). She feels good. The next 30 day supply of Jakafi arrived yesterday – just in time. I’m so thankful our insurance covers it. I told Ana one pill cost like $350 she said, “You’d think they could coat it if it cost that much to make.” So she’s still maintaining her sense of humor.
I asked a zillion questions and shared concerns about the tumors in her lungs (mainly – I was freaking out after reading some of the posts from a lung cancer forum I just joined). She doesn’t have lung cancer – her cancer is very different (more like a sarcoma). She has no evidence of cancer in the pleura of her lungs and Dr. Yamashiro reassured me on a variety of concerns. He was smiling when he came out to greet us and go over her scan (always a good sign).
So once again…we wait.
I woke up this morning thinking about the size of the new tumor and how quickly it’s growing compared with her lung tumors. I even tried to figure out how much it had been growing before Ana started the Jakafi two weeks ago. I estimated that it grew roughly .75 cm/week from 5/7 to 7/7 which means the ultrasound should’ve shown that it grew another 1.5 cm since her PET scan – put it didn’t. So, again…hopeful.
But, that made me wonder why the lung tumors are growing so slowly (the largest measured about 2 cm each on yesterday’s scan) which is minimal growth from the scan in May. So I emailed Dr. Yamashiro and asked about that – can tumors grow at different rates in different parts of the body and still be the same kind of cancer? Do they grow faster in the abdomen and pelvis than in the lungs? Should we biopsy the lung tumors?
Did I mention I started watching House?
In any case – I’ll take the two week reprieve. We left the hospital feeling optimistic. We even saw a couple of super heroes (posing as window washers).
Spiderman waved to me. I’m taking that as a good sign.