Get out the tissues, and take a seat.
Some background information, before I get started.
- A normal-sized cancer cell is 1cm. What this means is that cancer cells smaller than 1cm are not really cause for concern (remember that we all have cancer cells in our bodies), but larger ones are because that means they’re active and on the prowl to kill my healthy cells.
- A lesion is an area of abnormal tissue. Lesions can be cancerous or benign; in my case, I am only referring to cancerous lesions.
- When I mention nodes, I’m specifically referring to lymph nodes that have cancer in them. As you may recall, back when I had my mastectomy, I had 21 lymph nodes removed, and they found cancer in 20 of them. So even back in 2015, my cancer was quickly moving throughout my lymphatic system, trying to get to other places.
- “Necrosis” essentially means “death,” so when I say a node or a lesion shows necrosis, it means the cancer cell activity is dying off. (It’s basically what those TNF numbers are showing each week; these reports just illustrate that a different way.) This is what we want to see happen.
3 nodes: 2.2×1.5cm, 1cm, 1.2x1cm
1 node: 0.8cm
multiple nodes less than 0.5cm
1 node: 2×1.3cm
1 lesion: 1.9×1.4cm
The lesion is GONE.
2 lesions: 1.8×1.4cm and 4.5×1.9cm
The first one has reduced in size to 1.2cm and is showing signs of necrosis. The second one – the biggest one in all of my body, actually – is GONE.
The lesion in my L5 is still there, and it’s the same size. However, a hernia protrusion that used to be there is GONE.
It’s still pretty inflamed from my hip replacement surgery, and PET scans can’t always differentiate between inflammation and cancer cell activity. With that said, there are no new spots indicating activity in that area.
I never had the chance to get an MRI of my brain before I came here, so we didn’t know if the cancer had gone to my brain yet. I was sure it hadn’t. I was wrong. There is currently one tiny lesion in my occipital lobe, measuring in at 1.8mm. There is not too much edema (swelling around the tissue from the fluid in the brain), and it’s showing signs of necrosis.
The only piece of bad news I got from these test results today is that I have a stone in my gall bladder, which is why I have been feeling slight pain/pressure there at times. Dr. Rubio, Sr. said that I will likely need an emergency surgery to have that removed at some point, so I need to pay attention to that from here on out.
Are you crying yet? … because I certainly am.