I went to San Francisco yesterday for a full day of scans. I first had an MRI of my entire spine, followed by a PET/CT scan of my body. The purpose of the MRI was to get a detailed reading of where the cancer was already known to be present and the purpose of the second was to determine if there was any new cancer elsewhere in my body.
The entire medical team at UCSF is amazing. Not only did a radiologist read the scans yesterday and write an immediate report, but that report was given to my oncologist who gave me the results right away. Less than 24-hours later, I have a report in hand.
Overall, the news is good. First of all, no new cancer! I had gone into the scans feeling two extremes . . . that the discovery would be that all the cancer was completely gone or that the scans would reveal cancer everywhere! I didn't have a lot of middle ground expectations, but that appears to be what I have received.
One vertebrae (T12) showed increased metabolic activity, as did my left iliac wing (pelvis). The oncologist said that this is consistent with the hormone therapy I've been on and to not worry about it. There was no mention of my left rib, which makes me wonder if that lesion is gone as previously suspected when a biopsy was considered. I'll ask about it on Monday when I go in for my follow-up appointments. Additionally, there are no new pathologic fractures, one of the greatest risks of bone metastases.
I must admit a mixed reaction. I REALLY wanted to hear the cancer was gone. As I looked at the scans last night (Yes, I get copies of them for my files.), it was clear to me that I still had cancer. I was disappointed, but clung to the fact that God is writing a good story for my life and cancer is definitely a part of that story.
I feel a bit like the Israelites in the desert with their daily manna. God gave them enough manna for each day. They were not to store manna for the next day, unless it was on the day before the Sabbath. On that day, they were to gather for the Sabbath as well.
I am being provided for on a daily basis. Overall, I feel very good! I have lots of energy and pain wise, I only have a slight dull ache in the small of my back. I have friends who have significantly more pain due to injuries.
As I taught my students in China, this is the day God has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.
Oh, I am glad. I am very glad!
On Monday, I will see the neurosurgeon to evaluate progress on my neck and to see if I will be able to abandon the neck brace. I've been wearing it for almost five months and I'm ready to be anonymous again. It most definitely is a conversation starter!
Our trip to Yosemite went very well. We enjoyed ourselves quite a bit and we look forward to returning.
I took a week long break from the Bible project as my fingers were tingling quite a bit (I'll ask about this on Monday as well). However, I really miss the project when I don't do it, so I started it up again. I'm in Exodus 24. God is definitely interested in the details of our lives.
As always, thank you for walking beside us in this journey. God is so incredibly good in providing such supportive friends and family.