Sherryl saw Nancy on Friday and learned the results of Thursday's PET scan. The overall outcome is best stated in Sherryl's words. "I do not, do not, do not have any cancer in the liver or any other major organs. There's only a slight, and Richard and I are focused on that word slight, increase of cancer in the spine and both hips." Nancy explained that the bit of pain Sherryl sometimes feels in her lower back is probably muscle. Nancy gave to Sherryl a copy of the PET scan report, which she poured over to absorb every last detail. The test was summarized in impressions; numbered below are the highlights.
Note: Just double click on any word to see its definition.
Mixed response to most recent therapy w/decreasing activity seen throughout a large portion of the thoracic spine with multifocal regions of increasing activity, most notably at T2, T11, L2, and right anterior superior iliac spine. Remaining bony activity is relatively stable. Stable L compression deformity.
Ill defined right upper lobe parenchymal opacity mildly increased in extent since prior exam suggests possible inflammatory disease although neoplasm cannot be excluded.
No other evidence of new visceral metastasis.
Nancy next explained that she and Sherryl's oncologist discussed two chemotherapy options and decided that, given Sherryl's preference to stay active, a cocktail combining oral and intravenous medications is the best treatment at this time. The new chemotherapy treatment is called CMF.
The C in CMF stands for cyclophosphamide, the M stands for methotrexate, and the F stands for fluorouracil, which is also known as 5FU. Sherryl will take 1 pill per day for 14 days. And during those 14 days, she will go to the lab twice a week to have her blood drawn. On the day after she has her blood drawn, she will go into the the Marin Cancer Institute (where she receives most of her care), for the IV portion of the chemotherapy.
After those two weeks are completed, no oral or IV medication will be administered. So, the CMF cycle for Sherryl will be 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. Side effects may include fatigue and nausea, but another oral medication will be prescribed to offset nausea. And there will probably be no hair loss as a result of this treatment.
Sherryl was so disappointed when she learned the tumor marker had spiked that she was bracing herself for some bad news in hearing the results of the PET scan. She didn't have a good feeling about it, so she was more than relieved to learn there is no cancer present in any organs and that it has spread only slightly in the spine and hips. Resilience returned immediately and, after her appointment with Nancy on Friday morning, Sherryl returned to Day Care to finish the day. She had dinner with a friend on Friday night, and spent most of Saturday out and about. By Saturday evening, she was home and ready to nest for the evening and all day Sunday.
But there is that small matter of the transition to Daylight Savings Time. . .
The day we turn our clocks ahead one hour is and always has been RaRa's least favorite day of the year. Because she just hates losing that hour. Whether she is at work, out and about, or at home, RaRa is highly productive. And while she has added required sleep as a new measure of productivity, she really hates to lose any time at all. With all that RaRa can accomplish in 60 minutes, an hour is a terrible thing to waste. We'll just have to watch to see how she makes up for that lost time, because we know she always does.