As I mentioned in the previous post, I had an interim PET/CT scan yesterday. I received the result today, and was thrilled to learn that it is AWESOME! The scan came back negative. I’m officially in complete remission. I honestly was not expecting this result today, but I’m ecstatic. I hugged my entire care team multiple times.
For the PET scan, I fasted for 6 hours before receiving an IV and oral radioactive sugar (Barium Sulfate) which is easy for the PET scanner to detect. Cancer tends to hog sugar, so the Barium Sulfate tells the PET scanner “Hey, there’s a sugar pig here!” The left image above shows the PET/CT Scan prior to treatment. The right side shows the scan after treatment 4 (cycle 2b). Because the cancerous mass is no longer there to take the majority of the sugar, it went to other normal organs which are showing up brighter now. The bright spot in the middle of the Oct 15 scan is the heart, and this is normal.
Because of these results, my chemo regimen has been adjusted going forward to exclude Bleomycin, one of the four drugs. Removing this drug will not affect the 3 year progression-free survival rate, but it will decrease long-term side effects on the lungs.
I need to continue with the remaining infusions with the other three chemo drugs to make sure we get any cells hiding under the radar. The PET scan can see masses about 1 centimeter or larger very well. Smaller masses may not show up. To be sure we get rid of all the naughty cells, we’ll finish out the full 12 treatments. The new regimen is called AVD which are the initials of the remaining 3 drugs. The previous one was ABVD. Bye Bleomycin!
I’m super excited, but also pretty tired after having completed infusion #5 today. Bob joined me again today, and it was wonderful to share the news with him. I called Mom, Jamie, and Tamara with the news and they were equally thrilled.
I stayed hydrated heading into this treatment, so hopefully, I’ll have a similar recovery experience as I did last round.
I’ll close with this picture of Mocha chilling out with Bob before we headed over to the hospital.