I went to MGH yesterday for a PET/CT scan. The purpose of the scan is to do a mid-course checkup on the effectiveness of the treatment so far. After four infusions, it’s not uncommon for this mid-course scan to come back negative. If it is negative, we will drop one of the four drugs, Bleomycin, from the regimen. Clinical studies have shown that removing this drug after a negative PET scan at this stage in treatment does not affect the 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate, but does reduce the longterm effects of Bleomycin on the lungs. In other words, the Bleomycin would cause more harm than good for patients with a negative PET scan.
I’m heading back to the hospital today for infusion #5, and I will do the usual lab work and pre-meeting with the oncologist beforehand. At the pre-meeting, I will get the results of the scan. Given the advanced stage at which I was diagnosed, I’m not going in with the expectation that the scan will come back negative. If it does, it’s great news! If not, I wouldn’t be surprised. I do know that the therapy is working because I can no longer see or feel the mass, so even if there is still evidence of lymphoma, I know we’re heading in the right direction.
I’ll post an update soon with the results.