I had a dream that we were sitting in one of the little oncologist's offices at CTCA. We were about to receive news from our oncologist about Ryan's scans. I don't remember exactly what the results were, because I was jarred awake by our son screaming around 5 am today. He's not in love with his pack n play. I'm not in love with him not sleeping through the night.
What I do remember about the dream is that I was frightened out of my wits. THAT is really close to reality. As many times as we've been through this, it does not get any easier to sit in that little room and get the news. It's so nerve-wracking, and I feel like my heart is going to pound out of my chest. Without exception, I jump every time Dr. Sheelvanth knocks on the door.
So now to the news that you've been waiting for. Today's results were a little mixed. Most of the problem areas (small tumors, 2 enlarged lymph nodes) are stable since November's scans. That is great news. However, the tumor that has been the largest the whole time - around 1" in diameter - has grown to about 1.5". That is not great news. Our oncologist could not speculate about whether it was because we have not had the most consistency since November in keeping to his schedule, or whether perhaps the tumors are becoming resistant to the chemo drug that he is on.
So what we've decided to do is to switch drugs. Ryan's cycles will go from being four weeks, to two weeks long. He will get an infusion every two weeks (once in Chicago, once in Muskegon), and he will be on an oral chemotherapy for seven days at the beginning of each cycle.
Side effects should continue to exist, but we've been assured up and down that they should be pretty manageable. Ryan's hair might thin a little bit - I am not pleased about this, but Ryan doesn't mind too much. I must just be a girl or something. To be honest with you, I'm not crazy about change. It's hard, and it's scary. I was just starting to feel like I had a grip on everything, and now the rug has been slightly taken out from under me again. I am not crazy about this feeling.
Overall, we are grateful that things are not spinning out of control. Our doctor rated this at about a "seven" on a 10 point scale, with 10 being the best news possible. Ryan's liver enzymes are at a totally normal level, which they haven't been for a few months - wonderful!
We will do scans four weeks from now. There is a possibility out on the horizon that Ryan might do a radio frequency ablation, which is targeted radiation to a particular tumor (likely this one that is growing). If this were to happen, it would be like a minor surgery with a few days' recovery period.
We are grateful especially for your prayer support. Please continue to pray, and pray often for us. We continue to remain confident in our God's ability to heal, without doubt.
And in Ryan's own words: "Good news doesn't mean I'm healed, and bad news doesn't mean I'm dead."
So true. :)
Psalm 911 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”