If it’s not one thing, it’s the other!!! You will recall two weeks ago Dr. P was excited about my progress until I mentioned occasional episodes of mild double vision. This raised the remote possibility of cancer spreading to my brain. Fortunately the MRI confirmed that there were no signs of cancer activity, or much of any other acvitity for that matter, going on in my brain.
Well this morning we met to go over the results of the PET scan I had yesterday. The hope was that it would show no signs of “hypermetobolic metastasis”, no signs of cancer activity. The plan was that I then would go off full throttle chemo and go on to just a maintenance regimen. Well the PET scan showed that the hypermetobolic metastasis in my liver are no longer evident! Thank you red wine. It also showed that the metastasis in my lungs from the previous PET scan in May all demonstrated significant improvement.
However (god how I hate “howevers”) there is a NEW hypermetobolic abnormality in my right lung. It was not there in May. It was first evident from my CT scan two weeks ago and has doubled in size over the last two weeks. It is still not large, but the rate of growth is extremely rapid. It is so rapid that Dr. P doubts that it is cancer. He suspects that it is pneumonia, but it could be cancer. The PET scan cannot distinguish between these two different hypermetobolic growths. If is pneumonia, it’s great that we caught it so early. If it’s not, Jimmy will have new issues to contend with.
So, Dr. P put me on antibiotics and delayed any chemo until November 30. At that time I will resume my previous full throttle chemo for two more months. Then another PET scan. During the interim, the CEA blood marker will provide an indication of the level of cancer activity. Of course, if it is cancer growing at such a rapid clip, I’ll have pulmonary symptoms before the PET scan. Just as with the “brain cancer” scare, I assume this is pneumonia and it’s good to catch it before it becomes a problem to fight with my weakened immune system.
Such is the life of someone diagnosed with Stage IV cancer with no current cure. You just never know. I could go into an extended period of remission or I could just go poof. The answer is to enjoy and savor the good times and not worry about what I cannot control. We have a plan in place to extend my life, while maintaining a good quality of life. We will continue to work that plan and make adjustments as we go along. As Bobby McFerrin would say “Dont Worry, Be Happy.”
In the meantime I continue to be busy with pet portraits, many for Christmas presents. What better way to say “Merry Christmas” than with an original Jimmy! Here is my latest, not quite finished.