It’s been three months now since my last PET scan, the scan that looks for how active my cancer is and tells me if I have any new spots. To recap: scan 1 showed only bone involvement and only in the spine area, scan 2 showed decreased activity of the bony metastases and some healed liver spots. So now to scan three. I could do a bunch of nice lead up to the scan talking about how I only ate eggs for a day and was forced to go 1.5 days without coffee, but I think you all would like me to cut to the chase. The scan showed that everything is stable. Good right?! I should be super excited, and I am happy. Just not super jump-around excitement. I was hoping for a decrease. I am confused by the liver spots. He made it clear after the first scan that staying only in the bones is a good prognostic indicator. But those little buggers sit there inactive not labeled as healed, just haunting me. My oncologist told me that they will call bone lesions healed, but not liver. It was unclear why, another confusion in the land of cancer. All in all, good news, and I will take it as that and push those pesky liver spots out of my mind.
I also got some blood results back. Last month my cancer markers were up a bit. He postulated that it could be due to the fact that I had to drop my Ibrance dosing down as my white blood cell count, specifically my absolute neutrophil count, dropped too low. I postulate that this may be due to my body coming off the steroids. Either way it went from a 70’s number to 88. This increase did make me worry that I was going to have an increase in cancer activity, but as I said the scan showed clearly it did not. The bloodwork showed that I had a slight lowering of the cancer marker to 84. So good? Again confusing. He is still unsure if my cancer marker means anything as it went from normal right before the surgery to sixty something after the surgery. Another confusion, keep taking data and wait for some sort of correlation I have decided to get all my bloodwork printed since the March diagnosis, and I will be inputting that into an excel spreadsheet to help myself track the data. What can I say? I love numbers.
I can pour over these numbers forever and think to what they mean for the future, but that really gets me nowhere. Cancer is all about recentering your thinking. So that’s where I need to be. Where am I now? How do I feel now? Today I slung my first bag of pellets. That’s forty pounds of I feel pretty darn good. Eight months after getting one and a half bones removed I can get a bag of pellets off the ground, into the house, and into the pellet stove! I call that pretty awesome. I can pick up my younger two children and carry them around. I did my first solo run after doing some training with my kiddos. That run took me 2 miles, no stopping! That’s not bad given that 6 months ago I was just getting the neck brace off and being cleared for driving. So if you want to know how I am doing? Imagine my running. Imagine my carrying bags of pellets. No matter what my scan says, the rest of me is doing pretty damn good. What’s next? Running a half marathon, and being able to pick up my next oldest kiddo: that’s 120lbs.