My last scans came in clear. Again.
This means that every scan since last April has been free from active cancer. My breast shows no evidence that there was ever a tumor in it. My liver has no lesions. My bones, though scarred, show no significant uptake on PET scan. I have one little "hot spot" on a single rib that is almost certainly a microfracture over a healed lesion . And that is all.
For some reason, even though I have had good scan after good scan, I have been reluctant to declare myself as the miracle I know that I am. Jay has been anxious for our NED party, but I have not been able to give the all clear for it. Perhaps it is because I have been quite guarded that this good news could end at any time, or maybe it is because I am waiting for the bones to completely heal (which they may never do). Whatever the reason has been, it is time to move forward.
So here is my declaration: I am a walking miracle! God has chosen to heal me, has heard all the prayers and has answered them. Apparently, I have more to do here on earth (no pressure, right?!). I am humbled and so very grateful, especially for my family who needs me.
My oncologist told me at my last visit that I have demonstrated a "complete response" to treatment. In other words, I am in remission as far as Stage IV can be in remission. He very frankly told me that he didn't know what to do with me now, that no one could know, as we sailed off the map long ago on this clinical trial. Should we go off the medicine and hope the cancer does not return or should we keep on with it for a good while? He does not know and neither do I. He has to assume, based on his years of experience, that there are still some cancerous cells in my body that are just too small to see radiologically. Yet, he also says I might be cured. Only God knows.
So, for now, we have decided to continue with the treatments since the side effects are tolerable for me (certainly versus the potential alternative!). This decision was made easier due to the fact that T-DM1 is not yet commercially available and I could not go back to it if I wanted to.
While I cannot technically have a NED party (No Evidence of Disease) since my bones show plenty of evidence, I most certainly can have a CR (Complete Response) party and intend to do so shortly. I think I will wait for one more clean scan, just to be sure, and then, with all of you as witness to this promise, will set a date and start the planning.
And there you have it.