The Results Are In (Again)

I saw Dr. C. today and got the results from Monday’s PET scan. They were crap. Not as bad as the initial ones, but that same mass is still in the middle of my chest. It just doesn’t want to go away. My guess is, it’s an alien.

I asked Doc about the size and he said it was a tiny bit smaller, but size doesn’t matter (we’ve all heard that, haven’t we, guys?) so much as the fact that something’s still there. The ifosfomide he had me on a couple of weeks ago should have wiped it out, especially since the dose was twice what’s usually given to patients through the ICE protocol.

Remember, you heard it here first – it’s an alien.

Where do we go from here? Well, since Ripley’s nowhere handy, that means more chemo. He has two options he’s considering for me. One is harsher than the ifos treatment I just had, the other is easier and mostly oral rather than IV. He said he’s not too concerned about how hard the chemo is on me, as he knows I can take anything he throws at me. He’s seen the pictures, you know.

At the moment, he’s leaning toward the easier oral-based chemo, known as MOPP! I’m not that excited about the chemo, but it’s hard for me to say or type without an exclamation point, mostly because of a They Might Be Giants song (not the one I’m listening to now, but “Violin” from No!). Try saying it to yourself quietly and without verve. You can’t, can you? MOPP! MOPP!

So the way MOPP! works is, it’s given over a fourteen day period. I go in on day one and… maybe day 8… and get some quick IV chemo, but the rest of the time it’s two or more pills I’ll be taking. After that fourteen days, I’ll have another fourteen days, then I get another PET scan at my favorite place. Meh. No matter what this PET says, we’ll move on to the high dose chemo from there and on to the SCT afterwards. Once my bone marrow’s back up to working and the SCT is done, I’ll probably go in for some focused radiation treatments on that chest mass just to make sure the little bastard doesn’t come back. Radiation in my heart = stake in tumor’s heart.

So now you’re saying, “Why not the tougher stuff if you’re so tough, Mr. Big Man?” First, bite me. Second, the big bad stuff in that chemo (cytoxin?) is in the same family as the ifosfomide he gave me. Since the ifos didn’t do the trick, he’s not sure that the other treatment would do anything either. The MOPP! is in a different family entirely, so hopefully it’ll come from a different direction and smack the cancer around like a pimp on collection day.

When does all this start? Sometime next week. Probably later in the week. Dr. C’s attending a conference with some oncologists on Tuesday and he’s going to present my case to everyone (I hope I get to be “Patient Z”) to see if everyone agrees with his thinking. So near the middle/end of the week, I get to see what MOPP! is all about.

So the good news is, I should be able to see the first couple of rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs with no interruption. Hopefully the more widely broadcast third and final rounds will be underway by the time I have to do the hotel stay. The other good news is, this gives Barb and I some time to try to get our house sold and a new house found and bought before the high dose chemo starts up. It would be awesome to be able to come home to a new home when this is all over. As you can imagine, there are some memories around here now that would be good to get away from. Plus, we’ll be closer to work and my Yale docs, so that would also be good.

Want to live in Hartford, CT? Love to live within blocks of a great hospital, greater oncologist and next door to a school? Not afraid of Rooms of Evil? Give us a holler and we’ll see if we can make a deal.

The bad news? This means it’s that much longer until we can get the high dose started, that much longer until the SCT and that much longer until I’m done with this. I guess in the grand scheme of things, the bad news isn’t all that bad, but still. Oh, that and the fact that yes, I still have cancer.

And it’s still my bitch.

2 thoughts on “The Results Are In (Again)

  1. These pesky aliens do sometimes resist attempts to make them your bitch, but I’m sure the new chemo will be the medical equivalent of Ripley and the entire corps of the Space Marines kicking ass with a flamethrower!

  2. Thanks grey – while it’s the best quote, I’m not ready yet for “Game over man! Game OVER!” At least, I won’t be saying it – just the cancer.

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