That’s what the doctor said about how Susan’s responding to the chemo treatments. Since her last scan back in July, the larger tumors in her lungs have decreased in diameter by 40 – 60%. Some of the smaller ones have shrunk to the point where they’re practically gone. The tumors on her liver are showing similarly good results.
The doctor — who just got back from Italy on a cycling tour, where she proudly wore her pink “WIN” Fat Cyclist Jersey — says that there’s normally a tapering off effect with the tumor shrinking, but Susan’s continue to shrink at the same rate.
The progress has been good enough, in fact, that the next scan will be a PET scan, which can measure change more accurately than the traditional CT scan, since some of the tumors have shrunk enough that it may be hard to measure much (or any) change with a CT scan.
What Does this Mean?
Well, it means a few things. It means that we keep doing exactly what we’ve been doing, because it works. I.e., we continue to take a page out of the Lance Armstrong handbook and do exactly what the doctor tells us to do.
It means that by the time the chemo reaches its “best response” stage, where it’s shrunk the tumors to as small as they’ll get, that the tumors will be very small indeed — and some of them may be gone altogether.
It means that probably around January, Susan will be able to take a break from chemo for several months. She’ll need to have some surgery right away at that point to suppress estrogen production (the kind of cancer Susan has feeds on estrogen, so we can slow the cancer’s growth by eliminating all estrogen), and then she can start recovering, growing back her hair, and getting her energy back.
And we can start figuring out when we’re going on our trip to Italy.
A lot of you have taken a lot of time to comment, email, send cards and gifts, pray, meditate, and otherwise support Susan and me. I really believe that your generosity has made a big difference in how Susan’s doing.