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The cancer roller coaster

It’s been a hard week, full of ups and downs.

With no chemo since December, Gina’s been feeling really good. Her CEA stayed low in January, and has gotten even lower and remained so ever since. She’s been eating, gaining weight, and exercising well—and overall, feeling more like herself.

So when we went to MSK for 3-month follow up scans on Wednesday, we were expecting good results.

Instead, the PET scan showed a small new hot spot where an old tumor used to be. They asked us to stay an extra day to do an MRI, so they could get a better look at it.

It was a horrible feeling. The last thing we wanted was another reoccurrence after such a short break. We were feeling heartbroken, and Gina shed more than a few tears.

On Thursday, the MSK Tumor Board met to discuss the findings. Apparently, there was a considerable amount of debate about what it was and how to move forward. The radiologist wanted Gina to start back on chemo immediately, saying that there seemed to be something there, but her oncologist pushed back asking if he was sure that there really was something there.

Ultimately, they agreed that they couldn’t be sure that it was a new tumor.

As far as we were concerned, that was about as good news as we were going to get; treatment seems to be the default approach for anything even remotely suspicious for a Stage IV patient. Instead, they asked us to come back for another set of more sensitive scans in about a month.

Given the real possibility Gina may need to restart chemo in late April, we’re going to make the most of this brief reprieve. Knowing that we’ll both be fully vaccinated in two weeks (YAY!), we may even try to arrange that honeymoon trip that never quite happened.

Either way, please keep the stars coming and your fingers crossed, we’re still holding out hope that “there is no there there” — and that the power of your positive energy will be enough to heal her completely.

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