July 24, 2014

7 Month Health Update

We met with my oncologist last week for the results of my latest round of blood tests, CT scans (neck, chest, abdomen) and MRI (brain). A bit of info I didn't disclose at my 5 month health update; before our trip to Iceland, I had discovered some swollen lymph nodes on the right side of my neck, which frankly worried me until I developed a sore throat and fever a week later. I immediately saw my GP for antibiotics before the symptoms worsened and got better in two days, just in time for Iceland! Unfortunately, the swollen lymph nodes didn't change much. But fortunately, we had prearranged to add a CT of my neck and insisted on the brain MRI (provides more detail than a CT head scan) in my next set of tests.

The results? The good news is my tumour markers are still within the healthy normal range, my liver is doing great, my brain MRI was clear, abdomen is unremarkable, and the previous lung nodules appear to be stable. The bad news is there are two NEW but small lung nodules in the left upper lobe (!!), and they confirmed the swollen lymph nodes on my neck (surprisingly not that worried about those). Dr. B speculated that the supposed new nodules may have been missed previously. There are often differences in what the CT scan picks up (8mm slices) and how each radiologist reads the scans. This is evident in how we see "spots" come and go or how some details are not mentioned by one radiologist but emphasized by another. So hoping that I am actually stable and not already showing resistance to Iressa. We also, unfortunately, found out that the clinical trial for AZD9291 (one of my trial drugs of choice) was cancelled in our location:(.  However, that same trial is on in another city about 3 hours away. Totally doable should we ever have to cross that bridge. 

So for now, Dr. B. wants me to continue on Iressa, and watch and wait another 2 months. After some contemplating, I decided to go along with that, instead of pushing for a PET scan or lymph node biopsy... Risk:benefit ratio = not worth it. And fact is, I still feel pretty good! Maybe even been too active lately, much to the dismay of my overprotective husband;). In the past month, we have gone camping, enjoyed four scenic but steep hikes, and went on two bike rides, in addition to keeping up with our social calendar, and training and taking care of Z. And we already have trips and visitors planned for the month of August! I really should take that nap now...