First, the news is good. I’ll say more about it in a moment.
Second, those of you who saw my updated Facebook status already know this news; to those of you who are following just my blog posts, I apologize for keeping you in suspense between my last post and this one.
Now, the details: The CT scan showed that my tumors have shrunk by 10 – 30 %. When we looked at the scan from last Monday, compared to the one Sloan-Kettering had done just before I began chemotherapy, the effect was particularly striking (though probably partly due to the use of different CT scanners): in the earlier scan, the separate tumors looked as if they were reaching out and touching each other, whereas now they look like distinct islands. In between, it’s possible that healthy liver cells are regenerating.
Obviously I still have a long way to go. But the next step, happily, seems pretty clear: more chemotherapy, which in fact I began this past Wednesday a little while after we got this news. The basic strategy is straightforward enough, as I understand it: let’s stick with what’s working and aim to get more good results. With more progress in shrinking the tumors, then there’ll be more flexibility to consider other options that might be even more effective.
Meanwhile, my job is to make this treatment as successful as possible. That means more exercise to keep my strength up; more effort to understand and apply techniques like visualization, affirmation and mindfulness; some herbal supplements that Sloan-Kettering’s complementary medicine physician recommends; and even healthier eating. I’ll have more to say about what’s involved in honoring these good resolutions in coming posts.