Archive | September, 2011

Game on

18 Sep

We’ve had a busy past few weeks. Since I last blogged we: celebrated our first wedding anniversary, Nick decided to head back to school to pursue a Master’s degree in Sustainability, and we received news my cancer has progressed.  Ugh. If you haven’t noticed already, the ride on this emotional roller coaster is still in progress. So, how did this happen?  Throughout the past few months, I have been on Avastin, an antiangiogenic drug that starves tumors from their oxygen supply by preventing them from growing new blood vessels – thus killing them (in theory).  Although this was the intended effect of the drug, my tumors proved a bit more ‘resilient’, in the tactful words of my oncologist.

After my last heavy duty round of chemo this past spring, the lesions in my lungs had completely disappeared and the lesions on my liver had significantly decreased in both size and number, marking tremendous progress.  My latest PET scan, however, showed the lesions in the lungs were back and the liver lesions had increased in both size and number.  Follow up blood tests (via measurement of a CEA level) concluded that the cancer had, in fact, progressed, however my doctor was quick to point out that while my CEA registered at a 9, last February – prior to the rigorous chemo – it had reached a level of 15.  A healthy person has a CEA of 1-3.

Obviously this was not the news we were hoping for, yet my oncologist remained very optimistic that this was all treatable and that remission was still a viable and realistic goal.  He proposed two different treatment plans – both an aggressive and a conservative approach.  The aggressive plan entails another round of a new chemo drug, while the conservative plan involves treating with an antibody that would attack the cancer cells. As of now, we are inclined to lean towards the more aggressive plan – if these tumors want to play hardball, then game on!  Before we begin the next course of treatment though, we’re in the process of seeking a second opinion; nothing wrong with confirming we are on the right track to beat this once and for all.  Stay tuned, as more updates will be forthcoming within the week.  In the mean time keep us in your thoughts and prayers…and keep your seat belts fastened at all times on this emotional roller coaster!