I just knew those doctors were telling me past history, not my current story! So here's the answer to our prayers regarding the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: for the first time in my oncologist's 40-year career, he saw someone with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (metastasis to the brain and spine via the cerebrospinal fluid; referred to as LM) improve: ME!
The latest imaging shows there is now no more LM in the head; there are only the two lesions that we ablated with Cyberknife stereotatic radiosurgery, and they are diminishing as expected as the body carries away the ablated matter. One went from 6 x 3 x 3mm to 5 x 1 x 1mm, which they consider to be a significant decrease. My facial muscles and hearing are not yet restored, but I’m still experiencing fluctuations and am hopefully praying for complete restoration.
I was supposed to start whole-brain radiation this week, but those results SPARED me from that barbarism! I KNEW the Lord's report would be significantly better than the doctors’ words, and this imaging report is proof positive.
The LM in the spine is diffuse, so they can't really use Cyberknife on it. So I was supposed to start spinal radiation this week as well, but the newest imaging shows SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT (again, for the first time my oncologist has ever seen) in the spine, including the spots that most threatened my mobility. So I am declining to do radiation.
The latest imaging results also allow me to avoid having brain surgery to put a reservoir in my brain to infuse very toxic chemotherapy.
So having made the rounds of all my doctors, it's official: I have miraculously clinically, radiologically, and neurologically IMPROVED. I happily peeled off all the radiation Xes because it's not necessitated at this time -- what we are doing is WORKING! THIS IS HUGE HUGE HUGE in the medical world!
Now I’m waiting to gain entrance to the dream team of doctors who are on the Stand Up to Cancer team. I think the newest doctor is going to be a perfect fit for me: this is the guy I’m supposed to see. And I believe not only is he the right guy, I'm the right patient/resource in the right place at the right time. I can see now the light at the end of the tunnel; cancer is FINISHED and we will prove it in this time.
I'm presently still dealing with chemotherapy side effects, so I am way behind on things. I still want to get up the trail report from our Kearsarge Pass trip! Meanwhile, I use the times I'm too miserable to sleep to take pictures of the sunrise... LIFE IS (still) GOOD!
Especially if you want to see the Aquaduct gleaming.