Viewing the actual scans

I had my appointment with Alice (Dr. Shaw) on Monday, and we were able to view the images of the before and after scans together. They do indeed appear much improved. In my left lung, there remains a hazy footprint of what was formerly an area of consolidation. It could represent inflammation or, possibly more likely, unresolved cancer. The right lung (my ‘good’ lung), looks almost entirely clear.

It is important to remember at this point that A. we are in the dose escalation phase for LDK378, and the therapeutic dose may not have been reached yet, and B. this is not my first exposure to an ALK inhibitor and my cancer had acquired resistance to crizotinib (Xalkori).

All in all–a very respectable response. We will be watching my next set of scans closely and also positioning for dose escalation as soon as possible (there are certain constraints per protocol–and it will be six weeks or so before escalation is a feasibility). Update–Alice received the measurements for resolution (which is factored in a way that is very reliant on degree changes in borders of tumor rather than density) and it is 19%. This is a good place to remind all that I learned a long time ago not to be defined by numbers. I prefer qualitative to quantitative analysis, and symptomatically, I am much improved.

Life goes on. I’ve been busy adding to my portfolio of fallen leaves, although it has not been a stellar season for leaf peeping. They take the fall colors quite seriously in these parts, and there was a story on the front page of the local paper detailing the factors behind the disappointing showing. A very wet spring, coal tar spot, hurricane Irene (which atomized so much salt, it was found on the leaves of maples twenty miles inland). I believe myself to be rather adept at finding something beautiful under any circumstance though, so here goes:

8 responses to “Viewing the actual scans

  1. Love the leaves.
    Scan results – more growth. No more Alimta. Taking some time to breathe and decide what’s next, besides some travel. Have felt better in the last few days than the whole year on chemo. Crazy – my ‘as of today retired’ onc sent last year’s biopsy out for ALK testing as a parting gift. Super long shot, but wouldn’t that be funny?

    • Stephanie, sorry, really sorry, to hear about the growth. Perhaps a positive on the mutation test would give you another avenue…either way, it’s good info to have. Breathing and traveling both sound like good plans. Hang in there kiddo. We’ve got a date one of these days.

      :\ Linnea

  2. Glad to read about your positive results Linnea. The photos of the leaves are really interesting. What happened after the snow yesterday, or did it miss your neck of the woods?

    • Beryl, oy vey. What happened was five days with no power. No light, no heat, and worst of all to my way of thinking, no water. At the end of day three I decamped to the nearest hotel with a vacancy (an hour away) and spent two cleaner/warmer days there. I decided to return home yesterday come what may, and to all of our delight, we got power late yesterday. Yippee!

      And hey, how was your trip?


  3. Trip was great……met up with an old friend I haven’t seen since 1972 and got to meet the new baby in the family. I also went to the Everton vs Manchester United soccer match. So got right back into the swing of things. It was good for me.

    • Beryl, I’m so pleased to hear it was a good trip. The ‘football’ fanatic side of my family would be quite jealous of your tickets to the match.


  4. Wow Linnea how fabulous to hear the results of your recent scan – you are really giving that cancer a run! I just read the blog from Evan and then saw that Karin has left us. It breaks my heart when cancer invades these young adults – it is just so sad. I was in the hospital with pneumonia in September and it took a while to clear the infection but now I am doing so much better. Perhaps I won’t be skiing this winter but I won’t complain because there are a thousand things to be grateful for. xoxo

    • Melanie, great to hear from you. I hate it when these young(er) people get sick, but they handle it with such grace; I believe there is a lesson for us all.

      Sorry about the pneumonia–those opportunistic infections tend to be my achilles heal. And maybe you can still ski–I had to skip it for two winters (my ankle, and then the flu) but am hoping I will get up a few times this year. But as you say, there are indeed a thousand things.


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