True Story: on my way to the doctor's office today to get my PET results, I saw THE biggest dog I have ever seen. At first, out of the corner of my eye, I thought it was a pony and did a double take at people walking a horse down a Sacramento street. Eyes wide, I realized that pony was a dog: a huge dog, a monster dog. This dog could the winner of the biggest dog in the world contest. Its shoulders were nearly as high as the shoulders of its owner. It was not one of those long-legged Great Danes, it was thick, husky as well as tall, with one of those faces that has the sagging lips, like a Mastiff. You just know his owners have drool rags all over their furniture. He was brindle colored, but it was clear that he wasn't pure mastiff either. His ears were floppy and his feet were huge.
Perhaps he was a combination between a Mastiff, Great Dane, and Shaquille O'Neal.
It was really something to see a dog of that size. I stopped my car in the middle of the street and thought about you, my wonderful blog readers, who would have loved to see that gargantuan dog. I rooted around in my purse to try to grab my phone and snap a photo, but alas, there was too much junk for me to grab it quick enough. (Why can't I ever remember to put my phone in the little pocket designed for it?) The dog was turning in a direction the people walking it didn't want to go. They were half-heartedly tugging but they knew they had no choice but to follow the animal's lead, so instantly, they had their backs to me, leaving me with a view of a tail the size of a Python, whipping around happily. As I watched the massive dog move off to sniff something down the street, somebody behind me honked. Options gone, I left the colossal canine without taking his picture and drove into the hospital parking lot for my news.
The results of the PET scan were exactly as I expected. There has been "significant increase in size and activity" of the tumor in the liver since the last scan. It is now the size of a golf ball, and the SUV (for you cancer nerds) has increased from 3.9 to 9.7. Speaking of big PETs.
There is also bilateral dependent atelectasis of the lungs (lung collapse) which is preventing them from evaluating whether cancer has moved there. However, no cancer was ever seen previously and many things can cause atelectasis, including not taking deep breaths due to pain, and unchanging positions (perhaps due to laziness - you only need one position to post to facebook), so I am not worried about that part. I also have diverticulitis, which explains some of the mid-section symptoms not covered by cancer.
I really need to get out and take some walks, I think.
My brain, as they always say, is "grossly unremarkable." Why they have to rub that in after every single scan, I don't know. Isn't the fact that I have a growing cancer bad enough without a reminder about how boring my brain is? Really, radiologists, try to think on the bright side. May I suggest the wording, "superior brain untouched by metastatic disease" instead?
Sometimes, we need all the good news we can get.
So, next week I start my 7th chemo: Gemzar. I may also get to do Perjeta, although it is only approved for use in combination with docetaxol, (taxotere) which I've already had. So, my doctor is going to see if we can convince my insurance to approve it for use with Gemzar. I think it's time I add another HER2 agent as clearly, herceptin is not working as intended. Or, maybe it is and without it I'd already be gone. I know one thing - I don't want to find out.
Right now, keeping this cancer under control seems like a mastiff, er, I mean, massive task.
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