Any time a cancer patient has a scan that doesn’t see active disease it is a cause for celebration. Because kidney cancer sometimes doesn’t take up the glucose used in the PET CT scan like I had today, it isn’t always the best scan to use alone for kidney cancer patients. In these case of the PET CT scan I had today, it was used in addition to a regular CT scan with contrast, which is the one I had last week. Dr. Pippas hoped it would shed more light on the results of the CT scan from last Wednesday.
The good news is the scan today showed no active disease, which can NOT be a bad thing! We are grateful for this news, but we are also cautious. I still need another spine surgery, I think without doubt. But what about the tumor in my spine? At the very least, we have further confirmation this cancer is lazy. Although it is incurable, it is giving me a chance.
What we will do with this chance is left to be seen. I have a lot of research to do now. We have to get the best possible advice from as many smart people as I can get to weigh in on my difficult case. Then we have to make a decision about next next steps. What I hope for is to be able to have the damage the cancer has done in my spine repaired and to come out of that surgery with a structurally sound back.
I am also hopeful to be able to tolerate the side effects being delivered by the Cabometyx and not develop liver toxicity, which will force me off the drug. Although I’m suffering physically from the effects of the drug, my constitution is strong, and I wanted y’all to know we’ve heard some good news today.
The lesson in this for kidney cancer patients is clear: Just like Winston Churchill says, “never, never, never give up.” Having cancer is a full time job. And the pay sucks.