Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lymphoma: are we done?

We went to see Dr. Chien today (not Chin as I thought before) regarding Joe's right tonsil which was still causing some concern among the doctors. This has been worrisome, since we would really like to put the whole Cancer Incident behind us and move on. I think we heard good news.

Dr. Chien said that the MRI didn't really show much there on the right tonsil. And that the second PET scan had shown less uptake than the first (reminder that uptake is taken as an indication of hungry cancer cells). If the Something on the right tonsil was indeed involved with the lymphoma, then theoretically the chemo would handle it. The fact that the uptake value went down on PET scan #2 is a good, but not clear, sign.

I then had the distinct delight of watching Dr. Chien thread a scope into Joe's right nostril after numbing it, so he could get a closer look at the tonsils. Amazing. And Joe says the scope smelled like pumpkin pie.

Dr. Chien didn't see anything weird or suspicious, but has recommended that Joe have a third PET scan to see whether there has been further change in uptake. Since the second PET scan was after Joe's fourth of 6 rounds of chemo, it's entirely possible (crossing fingers, lighting candles in my mind) that the chemo was still working on this area and that chemos #5 and #6 knocked it out completely?

So we'll see. Early in April, Joe will have PET scan #3 to see what's going on in there. If the tonsil lights up, then we're on to tonsillectomy. We could skip the PET scan and go straight to tonsillectomy, but having seen what it did to Laurent when he had one two years ago, we'd rather only do it if absolutely necessary.

I'm treating this as good news, inconclusive but good. Phew!

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