Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Thursday is PET scan day!
After completing chemotherapy, a follow-up whole-body PET scan can provide information to assess if the treatment was successful and if areas that were previously abnormally metabolically active have responded. The PET scan can detect residual disease within the scar tissue and indicate if the treatment was successful or if the tumor has returned.
PET/CT scans provide information to help physicians:
Locate the site of the cancer
Determine the size of the tumor
Differentiate benign from malignant growths
Discover if the cancer has spread
Select treatments that are likely to be appropriate
Monitor the success of therapy
Detect any recurrent tumors
So Thursday, I'm hoping that the tech sees no "hot spots."
I'm going to ask my doctor to not tell me the results until I meet with her next Tuesday for my pre-op consult. I don't want any bad news (which there won't be!) during the holiday.
Obviously, Tuesday will either be the best or worst day of my life.
Best case scenerio is that the cancer is gone. It's unlikely that it would all be completely gone, but a good portion of it should have been killed off by the chemo.
Good case would be that the cancer that exists is still contained and will be removed with the breast tissue during my mastectomy.
Worst case would be that even while doing chemo, the cancer spread elsewhere, automatically turning me to stage 4. There is no stage 5.
The statistics show that 30-60% of women who have cancer in their lymph nodes when diagnosed with breast cancer will have it eventually spread to other parts of the body. I'm part of this crappy statistic. I wish I weren't.
The risk of cancer spread depends largely on the tumor size and the number of positive lymph nodes.
I won't know the number of nodes that will have to be removed and/or severity of the damage until surgery.
After surgery, I will also know how often I will be going to radiation.
For now, it's planned at 6.5 weeks of Monday through Friday treatments. 33 blasts of radiation. Wow. Take that, cancer cells!
Want to hear something crazy? Surgery is in 14 days!!
Now that the chemo crap is over, it's amazing how good I feel.
That doesn't say a whole lot since I felt great before I found out I had cancer, but it's a nice change.
I guess for the past few months, I didn't realize how yucky I actually felt.
I only wish it wasn't flu season so I could go do something!!
I know you all are prayer warriors so I ask, PLEASE pray that the dreadful chemo was successful.
I can't think of anything better than spending 2012 and all years following cancer-free.
Who knows? Maybe 2012 will be the year that they find a cure!