I keep forgetting that I should never try and predict anything where my cancer or its treatment is concerned. Katie and I had two surprises at our meeting with my oncologist yesterday. Firstly, the radiology report from the scan I had on Wednesday was available and, secondly, the result was not quite what we had expected. The scan showed 'minimal growth' in both my liver and abdominal tumours compared to the previous scan. This is not as good a result as disease stability but is better than there being more marked growth in the tumours.
My oncologist views this as a positive. He recommended that I have three further cycles of Trabectedin before having a further scan in three months. Having had twenty four hours to think about this I'm concerned that three months is too long to wait before checking on how the tumours are responding. At my next appointment with the oncologist I will raise this concern and see if I can have a scan in two months time.
I also want to understand more about what is meant by 'minimal growth'. I plan to ask to see a comparison between this most recent scan and the one I had around six months ago. I'm hoping this will provide some reassurance that the tumours are growing very slowly. In the meantime I will be going ahead with my next round of treatment on Tuesday/Wednesday this coming week.
There were a couple of unequivocally good points from this scan. First, the small lung tumours that I had are no longer visible. This doesn't mean that they've completely gone, but it does indicate that they have shrunk to a point at which they are no longer resolvable by the CT scanner. Also, my last scan showed that I had a lot of fluid retention around my heart that was causing a degree of heart failure. This recent scan showed that this had cleared up quite considerably - something that is very much aligned both with how I've been feeling physically and with the changes in my weight during the last two cycles.
Here are a couple more shots from Scotland, a white tailed eagle and the Eilean Musdile lighthouse.