Monday, June 30, 2008

Surprisingly stable

Hi! I went to Chicago today for an appointment with Dr. Richards. He looked at the CT scans I took last week and reported that my tumors had remained surprisingly stable over the last six weeks. Some had grown a little, some had shrunk a little, and some had stayed the same. The best news is that the suspicious spots in my lungs appear to have gone away. The worst news is that a 5 x 5.5 cm mass in my liver has grown to 5 x 13 cm. This explains why I have been experiencing acute pain in my right shoulder. Evidently this mass is pressing on nerves that run up to my right shoulder, causing sudden sharp pain sensations in that part of my body. Dr. Richards said he suspects that this mass is probably evidence of a tumor hemorrhage (a unique characteristic of melanoma lesions is that they are known to bleed), which is neither positive nor negative. The tumor may bleed because it's growing or because it's dying. Either way, he suspects that the enlarged mass is mostly a puddle of blood and not cancer. Dr. Richards said the bleeding will stop on its own and he wasn't especially worried about it.

As a result of all this, I will be resuming my antiCTLA-4 trial on Wednesday. This is good news. Not only is the medication (called ipilimumab) easy on my body, it also is proving to be more effective than doctors initially thought. Being able to get back into the trial is probably the best news I have received from a doctor this year. It certainly gives me hope that maybe we will be able to get this cancer under control. I will post another blog after my infusion on Wednesday to let you know how it goes.

In other news, Kelly starts her new job tomorrow. I can't wait to hear how it goes!



Katie Clancy said...

This is nice to hear! Best wishes with re-joining the treatment on Wednesday. So glad you all had a great cruise too. Can't wait to see more pictures and hear all about all that you saw. Good luck to Kelly at the new job!

michelle wait said...

Jeff, Thanks for sharing how your appt. went. It's great to hear your going to be able to continue your trial. Kelly, Good luck with the new job! Can't wait to hear all about it! Love you all,

Mary M Clay said...
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Mary M Clay said...
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Peggy Wilkins said...

Praise God!

Terri said...

I am sooo glad that you have recieved good news. Nothing is more powerful than good news. Getting good news (I think) makes you more positive and more determined that you can and will beat this thing. It gives you the ability to enjoy yourself and take a break from the stress of everything. It's great that you are able to continue with the clinical trial. It seems that all around everything was good news, and there is nothing better than going to a dr.'s appointment and getting good news. I'd say that is better than winning the lottery twice. Congratulations and I hope that good news will follow you to every dr. appointment you have from here on out.