My CT scan experiences are usually a bit of a mixed bag but this was the first one that I was looking forward to. The technician brought me the special pool flavored drink and I chugged it, somewhat wary of what was to come, more often than not I don’t have the best luck with getting an IV put in when it comes to scans and I had been poked by this particular person far too many times to trust that this time would be any different and I was not wrong. I have learned to not let anyone access my port, mainly because of this particular person who unsuccessfully poked the device under my skin over and over without success (this is not something that should be done), luckily that time someone else took over and with a new needle, accessed my port effortlessly. This time there was nobody to save me and on the second attempt in my other arm 🙄 the needle was inserted but the person seemed unsure 😶 “Is it in?” I asked, not in the mood to add in “That’s what she said.” They didn’t respond but when I was led to the CT machine to lay on the table they asked the other technician “I don’t know if I got it in right, can you check?” 😳😳😳 “It looks okay, does it hurt?” The other person asked me. I said it didn’t but this gave me no confidence. They ran me through the first round of pics and then came in to plug in what is called the contrast, a fluid that flows into the IV “Let us know if it hurts going in, if it’s not in your vein it will be incredibly painful.” 😬😬😬 I said “You are freaking me out but no…” I was asked if I tasted anything or felt warm (the sensation is that of peeing your pants) I told them I felt warm, though it felt different than it usually did and I was sure I was going to die from some complications from this or at the very least my scan would have to be redone. I walked out of there feeling mildly defeated, worried about my impending death and botched scan. By the time I got home I had a notification of a test result on my MyChart and I was too scared to open said result. I texted my nurse practitioner friend about this and she offered to look at the report when she got home. I left to pick up Charles and when I got to his office I received a text from my friend:
Basically my tumors shrank by 35% in 6 weeks according to my oncologist, who I saw today, though she believes it is more than that, explaining that the depth of the lesions cannot be measured and considering my liver values are normal it would make sense that shrinkage had occurred in that area as well. Only the liver tumors could be measured as the rectal tumor could not be seen…This does not mean that it has completely melted away but this is the first scan where the mass was not detected. I asked her if it is possible for my cancer to completely go away and for the first time ever she said “Yes.”
Right now I still have cancer, though my CEA (a tumor marker) went down again another 50% since my last appointment (it is now at 4, 0-3 is the normal range.) I am not out of the woods but the forest is less dense and I can hear the birds sing again looking forward to Spring. I feel good right now and optimistic, though I am more than aware that anything can happen, I am not cocky nor complacent, I feel really lucky to still be here. My oncologist thinks that the immunotherapy that I recently had may have sensitized my body to work really well with this targeted therapy but no matter what, I think this is a miracle.
Until next time ❤️