Friday, November 20, 2009

Miracle in Houston!

Was it a bird...was it a plane...was it Santa? No, it was the radiologist who interpreted my quarterly scans this week. In her immortal words:

PET CT Impressions:

No evidence of active bony metastatic disease representing compete metabolic response to interval change in chemotherapy.

In nonscientific terms: a miracle. With Stage IV cancer, you will NEVER hear the word "remission," and certainly the word "cured" will ever escape a doctor's lips. The closest you will ever get is N.E.D. (no evidence of disease).

This was beyond my wildest dreams, because so far nothing had worked. The best Hank and I were hoping for was "not much more cancer" or "approaching stable." But to get to NED after just a few months of chemotherapy is, in my doctor's words, "highly unusual," and in my MD/PhD brother-in-law's words: rare. In my words, miraculous!!

In a major study of my particular drug cocktail, NONE of the 350+ breast cancer patients in the study gained remission.

We will develop a game plan next week, but it's possible I'll be able to back off chemotherapy or switch to a maintenance drug, with quarterly scans and chemo only when and if it is needed.

This is nothing short of a new lease on life for me and my family. There are no words to describe how I feel. I think I'm still in shock! Was this why I was "told" to have courage?