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June 06, 2005

Popping Cancer Update: The waiting is the hardest part.

Yesterday was the worst of this last treatment. "Joint pain day" is mostly over, except for a bit of leftover fatigue and stiffness. Now I have two weeks off and a fun vacation before any more treatment.

Still, I've let myself forget how important these next tests are.

The first type of chemotherapy was not only brutal, but didn't do the job. It kept the main tumor in check near my lungs, but let two more grow to the size that they suddenly appeared in CATscans.

This new chemotherapy, you'll remember from our last scans, checked the growth of all three of the main tumors (a Petscan in January showed lots of potential tumors, but if we beat the big ones, the little ones will fall too, and the little ones don't show on CATscans). That is to say, the form of chemotherapy I'm doing now kept the tumors from growing but didn't shrink them. Still, this was good news because cancer, if left alone, always grows, so the thought is that the chemo was doing SOMETHING.

Now I have another CATscan on Thursday. We leave for vacation on Friday. I would prefer not to get rotten news while on this much-needed vacation.

If we get bad news, it's really bad news, because the specialist in Cleveland indicated that there aren't really any other good treatment options for sarcomas. It may be that if this type of treatment fails, the game is over. In short, we really need this CATscan to indicate some success.

I don't know what will happen if the tumors are identical in size again. If so, I may ask for another Petscan despite the cost, because I have read that sometimes chemotherapy can kill tumors and leave dead cells. Since the CATscans only identify masses, some or all of a tumor can be dead but still show up in scans. Petscans identify living cancer cells.

The point of all this? During the six weeks of treatment all I worry about is surviving the treatment itself. It's easy to lose sight of the big picture.

Now that it's getting closer to scan time again, I'm getting nervous. After all, the big picture is more than just a course of treatment: it's my life.

Scans Thursday. I'll try to post results from vacation when I can.

Posted by Dan at June 6, 2005 10:55 AM

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My prayers are constantly and consistently with you. Go to North Carolina, enjoy being with Mrs PC, the sun, and the waves of the Atlantic Ocean knowing that our prayers will follow you there. I believe that the ocean is the closest thing to heaven that there can be here on earth. The best time to be on the beach is before the sun rises and all you can hear is the sound of the waves crashing. Then as you slowly witness the sun rise over the ocean feel the closeness of God and the prayers of all you love you.

Posted by: Carla at June 6, 2005 01:51 PM

Just surfing around and found your site, I hope and pray that you and yours get some good news soon. I will remember you in my prayers. God Bless

Posted by: Nick Dann at June 7, 2005 08:37 AM

Just surfing around and found your site, I hope and pray that you and yours get some good news soon. I will remember you in my prayers. God Bless

Posted by: Nick Dann at June 7, 2005 08:38 AM

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