Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Last week’s tests all OK

I had a follow-up appointment yesterday with Dr. Gina D’Amato to discuss my MRI and CT scan from last week (amongst other things). The CT scan revealed no metastasis and the MRI showed that the tumor did shrink, though not as much as after my previous MRI from 6 weeks ago. This is all good news and means that I will get 2 more rounds of chemo.

One of the main purposes of the chemo (as I was reminded) is to prevent the spread of the tumor to other parts of my body. The idea is that if the chemo is shrinking my tumor (even minimally), it is killing the tumor. Therefore, if the tumor was to spread, the chemo should kill it before it has a chance to establish itself elsewhere. This is why the good doctor still insists on 2 more rounds of chemo.

But the really good news (in my opinion) is that the promised 25% less Ifosfamide for rounds #5 and #6 translates to 1 less day in the hospital! You see, I normally get 4 days worth of Ifosfamide, so now I only need 3. My dosage of Doxorubicin (a.k.a., Adriamycin) will remain unchanged at 3 days. I’m soooo happy to be getting out of jail a day early! Round #5 will begin next Monday (11/03/2008).

Radiation Therapy
To update you on the radiation front, it was decided in the Sarcoma board meeting last Thursday that I am to receive radiation therapy prior to surgery. I presume this means 25 rounds over 5 weeks, though I have not yet been given those details. Doing this all before my operation seems right to me and makes things less complicated. Though it will be inconvenient to drive to Crawford Long every day, I am told that the radiation treatments themselves go very quickly and are not debilitating like chemo. This would give me a chance to work and do whatever I need to do during this period.

Chemo Buddies
I saw some old friends while at the doctor’s office yesterday. I saw Donald (and his wife Tracy), who is now on a slightly different schedule than me (which is what I had guessed before). I had not seen him since Round #3. Donald seems to be doing well and is getting close to having surgery.

I also saw Conjetta, who I had not seen since Round #2. Conjetta is one strong young lady, who endured nearly 6 months of the same intensive chemo that Donald and I receive but with no success. The doctor had since changed the treatment plan and she is now seeing a good bit of progress with a far lesser dose chemo. I am so happy for her.

Though we really hardly know each other, there is definitely a kinship between Sarcoma patients.


Chuck said...

I'm glad to hear it's going well. I'm strangely jealous about the upcoming radiation treatment... radiation is awesome. Think of it as concentrated sunshine that gives you a thorough tan. Hang in there, just two more to go!

Tim said...

An inner tan... what an interesting perspective, Chuck!

Glad to hear you get to shorten things by a day, Dave. Keep the updates coming. We're all tracking your every move.

cdawg said...

I see Thai food in your future and mine. ;) Hope to see you soon.