Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Moment of Truth

Well...it's more like a CT scan of truth. Tomorrow I'm going in for a CT scan, following a pancreatic protocol, which is supposed to a) indicate with greater accuracy than a PET scan how much the tumor has shrunk, and b) where exactly it's positioned with regards to some key veins.

I've met with surgeons from Stanford and UCSF, and we're going to meet up again to review the results this week and discuss next steps.

Obviously, this is a very important scan, or rather the results of the scan are going to be of paramount importance with regards to how I proceed with treatment. I've been planning on getting a date set for mid-October, CT scan results not withstanding. Apparently, these imaging systems are still not the most accurate tools to determine the growth/decimation of pancreatic tumors, and I'd likely still go in for the procedure regardless of the result (barring some highly deterministic results that would preclude surgery), and the doctors would be able to make a more informed decision once they open me up and are physically looking at this little fucker inside of me.

I'm both nervous and excited. I honestly feel that as a result of the aggressive chemo treatment I opted into will have seriously thrown a a wrench into the cancer's development, and we'll see good shrinkage, and pulling away from the veins, so the next round of meetings with the surgeons will be discussing the positive news, and scheduling a surgery date.

Regardless of the scan results, I remain optimistic that I will be a candidate for surgery, and I will go under the knife with the knowledge that I'm having the procedure for curative measures, and this will be yet another small (but significant) life obstacle to negotiate.

On another positive note, a friend forwarded me a piece on some pancreatic cancer research legislation that's being discussed in Congress right now:
The Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act (S. 362/HR 733) is currently before Congress. The bill requires the National Cancer Institute develop a long-term, comprehensive plan to address pancreatic cancer. More specifically, the legislation would help lead to the development of early detection methods and effective treatment options, which are currently lacking.  The bill has already garnered broad, bipartisan support in both houses of Congress: nearly 60 Senators and more than 280 Members of Congress have signed on.
Don't fumble the ball on this one, Congress. The purple shirted people are watching.

2 comments:

Sherry Fredrick said...

Good luck tomorrow J! We are excited for you too.

SeaBee said...

Dear JRomi;

I came across your amazing blog when noodling on Google about Folfirinox experiences. My wonderful husband of 32 years out of the blue turns out to have his own expletive toomie, unfortunately w/metastases to his liver & perhaps elsehwere, so he's Stage IV pancan. He's on pretty much the same 'schedule' as you - has had 4 Folfirinox 'cycles' & has his all-important CT scan tomorrow (Tues. 9/25). I love reading your blog, esp. your terrific sense of humor & irony. Hang in there - my husband feels it is 'not his time' yet, & I'm sure it's not yours either. You're in our thoughts, & we're all in this fight together! All best wishes,
Carol Bowen from Concord, MA (bowenmktg@comcast.net).