We have returned from our journey to Zion with very encouraging and positive news!
After being poked, prodded and scanned, we have learned that my cancer has not spread...not even to my left lung! I have also been told that a new area of growth in my right lung, as indicated during my emergency room visit, is most likely scar tissue from my surgery in July! Yes, my existing tumor has grown and there is new growth in the lining of my lung. But it is contained!!!! I was so fearful that the cancer had attached to my ribs....they are clear! My liver....just as healthy as it could be! My brain....I know, at times is questionable....but no tumors!!!
The staff at CTCA are amazed at my health and vitality. My blood work returned with remarkable results. Aside from these nuisance tumors in my lung, I'm a very healthy person!!!
We met with the oncologist yesterday. She outlined a treatment regime that holds great promise. A combination of Xeloda (a pill form of chemotherapy) and Cisplatin. This would require a trip to Zion every three weeks for a one day infusion. Prior to the third cycle of this regiment, she suggests additional scans to see if there is change in tumor growth. If it is found that the combination is not working, she will suggest surgery or another treatment option. She did not promise a cure. She does feel this is very treatable. I will always require a watchful eye on new growth in other organs.
CTCA is a wonderful facility. The people are very kind and treat you as a whole person....not a number. They are there to educate and support. Each department met with us to describe their role in the organization and how they are there to assist you in healing. It is about mind, body and spirit. They understand it not just drugs that treat cancer patients. They really do care!
I have been carrying the burden of a life sentence since our meeting with Sloan-Kettering in July. I no longer feel that way!! Cancer Treatment Centers of America has filled me with renewed hope.
We leave for Mayo this afternoon. It will be interesting to see what they suggest and how they compare to CTCA. Zion definitely felt like home and the right place to be. Mayo will have to work hard to convince me otherwise.
As one of the physicians told me yesterday, 'Looking at you, I would never know you have cancer. You are a healthy spirit. Continue to live fully.' I plan to...with full vigor!
Thank you so much for your support and prayers. I have to tell you....I believe in miracles. You are helping make them happen.