It's actually been a pretty busy week as I have had a bunch of appointments, and have a bunch more scheduled (including Boston and Houston). We go to Boston next week to meet Dr. Chen, who will discuss the option of proton radiation with us. I am looking forward to this because we will find out how much damage this radiation will do to my heart. We also get our appointments for Houston (MD Anderson Cancer Center) for the first week of July and I am looking forward to getting their opinion as well. When in Houston we are meeting with two doctors - Dr. Ravi (with MD Anderson) and Dr. Reardon, a cardiac surgeon. I am not sure what to expect from this...other than to get another perspective.
I finished up a round of chemo last week (I have tomorrow off from chemo) and start another round of six treatments next Friday. As usual, I had some scans to check the status and there were some minor issues with my scans. Dr. Scalzo was concerned because the tumor measured a half centimeter larger than it did six weeks ago and one of my lymph nodes also measured a little larger. If I wasn't going to Houston in three weeks Dr. Scalzo would have ordered another PET Scan and Cardiac MRI (these are more detailed scans)as he was a little concerned. Since I will be getting those done in Houston, though, he decided it's OK to wait until then. Another issue that my recent scan showed was a pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart). I had this when I was initially diagnosed, but it went away after treatment started, and now it's back. I am not sure what that means, or why, but I have an appointment with Dr. Gorman, my cardiologist, on Monday.
It was kind of funny because the report from the CT scan said, in the same sentence, that there was a slight increase in the size of the cardiac tumor, but subjectivley there was no change. This was explained to us that the increase was small enough that it could be attributed to the position I was laying on the table, the position of my heart or the way the image was read/measured. My only concern is that this is really the first time the tumor didn't shrink...but I am not that worried about it. The CT scan isn't as detailed as the MRI, so when I get that in July we will see what happens.
Still working full time and feeling OK. The chemo is definatley affecting me more, but not nearly as bad as it could be, so I am happy for that. The question now seems to be how much longer this chemo is going to work for. We talked to Dr. Scalzo about it and he said at this point it could stop working any time, or could continue working for another year. I hope it keeps working for as long as possible because I don't mind the side-effects of Taxol, and I'd prefer not to have to try another chemo for a long time.