Saw my radiologist at Emory with the results of last week’s PET scan.
It wasn’t clean. There are still active cancer cells in the tumor location in my nasopharynx/sinuses.
I was really trying hard not to dwell on these results. After the last PET scan, I didn’t want to pin my hopes on a clean scan, but even with me actively working not to think about it and telling myself that it was unlikely the two rounds of R-ICE chemo would have put me in complete remission, it was still a blow, hearing it.
I did get to see the PET scan this time, as well as the initial scan we did last November and the one we did in March. The good news is that the active cancer area is much smaller compared to both, but then again, if it weren’t, we’d be in much worse shape moving forward. It was kind of astounding seeing the scan from November, how huge the tumor was, how much of my skull it occupied.
These results don’t change our next steps, which is to irradiate the whole tumor area and Kill it With FIRE. It does, however, mean that the radiation course is going to be a little more aggressive, possibly take five or six weeks instead of four, expose me to more radiation all told–which, in a not-funny correspondence, will increase my chances of getting another cancer, leukemia, some years down the road as well as increase the potential side effects. There’s also a chance that whatever is making these stubborn cancer cells not succumb to the chemo will also make them resistant to the radiation, and I won’t go into the stem cell transplant in complete remission. My odds, of course, are much better going into the transplant in complete remission versus partial.
Tomorrow I go in for a CT scan and mask fitting for my radiation treatments. We’re aiming to start radiation next week.
I’m so tired of being sick. Fuck cancer.