Tuesday I went to Celilo for my monthly cancer check-in and Zometa infusion (to help deal with bone metastasis). I saw Nina Van Es, NP, who is my all time favorite and personal champion on staff there. Dr T has finally retired and the new doc I refer to as Doogie Howser, for not very original reasons. He is nice enough, young (33!), and I have sympathy for what it must be like to walk into a full clinic of people you've never met before, at all different stages of all different kinds of cancer, with all the different and unique physical, emotional, psychological needs that implies. That is a lot to dive in to. I wish him well.
But back to me!
The results from my routine CAT scan (I had one last week, I get them about 3 times a year) look pretty good. Lesions in liver continue to decrease. Metastasis in bones ( T2, T7, T11, left clavicle, right posterior rib) have not increased.
Am I in remission? I ask. Nina pondered. She said she'd have to get back to me with the precise medical definition of "remission"-- she seems to remember it has something to do with a 50% reduction in tumor mass, and of course she'd have to ask an Oncologist what they think... but she THINKS that we could say that. In any event I am doing REMARKABLY well.
Here's what Wikipedia says about Remission:
My disease has not completely disappeared, but it is not currently active. Call that what you will, I call it good news.
RemissionRemission is the state of absence of disease activity in patients known to have a chronic illness that cannot be cured. It is commonly used to refer to absence of active cancer when the disease is expected to manifest again in the future. A partial remission may be defined for cancer as 50% or greater reduction in the measurable parameters of tumor growth as may be found on physical examination, radiologic study, or by biomarker levels from a blood or urine test. A complete remission is defined as complete disappearance of all such manifestations of disease.
OK, my friends. That is it for now, but I promise I will be back. 'Cause while this IS good news, it is far from the best STORY I've tripped over in my path the last few months. Thanks for checking in and thanks for keeping the faith.