The good news is that the cancer is still confined to the bones. There is no evidence of disease in any organs (brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach, etc.). They all look clear. Of course, we know by now that just because nothing can be seen doesn't mean that nothing's there, but it is still encouraging to not see anything.
The bad news of the scans is that I have several new lesions in my spine and one new lesion in my left hip socket. (This explains the dull ache I've been having in my left hip.) There are worsening lesions in three thoracic vertebrae (which explains the nerve pain I've been having) and in all my lumbar and sacrum (tailbone). There are no new pathologic fractures.
All in all, this means that my current treatment plan has stopped working and that it's time to begin a new one. The medical team is working on getting me into one of two clinical trials. I am an "ideal" candidate in some ways in that I've not had previous treatments other than what was considered to be standard protocol. However, that standard protocol may exclude me from one of the trials. I will find out by next week what the next steps are.
On Monday, I meet with the neurosurgeon to discuss my spine and to determine what action (if any) needs to be taken. Radiation is a possibility, or an in-office procedure known as vertebroplasty (bone cement). My pain level is very low, so it's possible no action will be needed.
I may have to see an orthopedic surgeon for a recommendation on the hip. It does ache more than I'd like it to. Radiation may be needed to deal with that.
If I have radiation anywhere, I'll go back to the radiation oncologist who has done my previous radiation.
I'm in good spirits. While the results aren't quite as good as I wanted them to be, I'm glad to know what's going on. I had written down what I expected to hear, and this news is better than what I expected! (I mistook the nerve pain for new mets in organ pain!)
God's story for my life remains a good one. The steady onslaught of this disease doesn't change that. However, I do ask that you continue to ask for a complete healing.
Thank you for sharing my life. I'll write updates as I learn more.