September 8th, 2010

Nuke The Site...

"...from orbit - it's the only way to be sure."

Not that radiation is in any way currently being considered as a treatment for me, but that "Aliens" quote still seems apt at the moment.

Had the followup appointment yesterday to find out the results of my most recent scan - took the ladies with me (they insisted) and drove over. Having a car in Seattle is mostly a pain in the ass; paying for parking (after threading through several garage levels looking for it) is a pet peeve.

Right to the point - my scans and blood from last week look almost exactly like the ones from June. The physical size of the remaining mass is unchanged, as is the level of metabolic activity detected. There'd been a slow decline through the previous few scans, and we'd hoped that was the cancer's last gasp. Instead it seems to have stabilized. If it stubbornly refuses to *die*, at least it isn't *growing* either - not for now, anyway. Blood work all looks good too, save for a continuing slightly elevated creatinine level.

My current onco is a little puzzled by this kind of resistance to six rounds of chemo by what is supposed to be a pure seminoma. Since that diagnosis came from a needle biopsy, it's a bit suspect to her, and with the mass now much smaller than it was then, repeating that isn't an option. We're looking at a proper surgical biopsy to verify what we're really dealing with, probably sometime in mid-October - between my Haunt trip and Halloween. Depends on how the conversation with the surgeon goes (this is back to the fellow that did my orchidectomy and stents, but declined to attempt cutting my tumor out).

The biopsy is expected to confirm the seminoma, but may show that the mass has mostly converted to teranoma - a sort of non-malignant growth that has the potential to revert back to active cancer. (Sigh).

Physically, I still feel fine - even the tingling neuropathy in my hands and feet is almost completely gone (though I'm still a bit more clumsy and off-balance than usual - not that I've ever been particularly graceful). Going to start forcing myself out of bed half an hour earlier and begin treadmilling as Haunt prep (and so that I can walk back up to the house from the bakery without being unreasonably tired).

I may have to move the goalposts a bit and redefine my "victory condition" a bit, or I may be waiting much longer than we thought for the gourmet steak dinner I'd told my ladies I wanted to have after my (expected) declaration of remission following that final (?) chemo treatment back in January.

Faith's take on this is that the longer this holding pattern goes on, the more time we have for new and improved treatments to come online, and that's a valid point. We still don't know how long I was unknowingly carrying this thing around before we discovered it last year. But I'd still feel better about it getting even a provisional temporary all-clear...