Thursday, November 21, 2013


     It's 4:00 AM and I'm lying awake thinking about my upcoming day.  In several hours I'll be having follow-up CT scans of my chest, abdomen, and pelvis to see what's happening inside me.  Ideally, there will be fewer tumors and the remaining ones will be smaller.  (Ideally, ideally...they'd all be gone, but I know better so I just hope for fewer and smaller.). 

     Along with CT scans today, I'm having a brain MRI to make sure that the cancer hasn't spread  there.  Although I feel like Xalkori has been working well for me below my neck, it's known that it does not cross the blood brain barrier. I'm told that researchers think that while Xalkori is working, the risk of brain mets is probably reduced, but certainly not zero.  

     If I haven't mentioned it yet, I'm really, really afraid of getting brain mets. Aside from associated (major) headaches and seizures, I'm so afraid of anything that will mess with my ability to think and communicate.  The good news is that brain mets can now be treated with a non-surgical procedure called gamma knife, with good success.  I don't know much else about it, but am relieved that if I am found to have brain mets, there is something to do about them.  

     "Scanxiety" is a term well known to cancer patients.  These periodic imaging tests are scary and nerve-wracking.  Despite Xalkori's ability to help keep my cancer at bay, it won't work forever.  I just hope today's scans show me that it's still working...for now. I should get results tomorrow, or at the latest on Monday.  

     Stay tuned.

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