Scan results are in...
The good news:
1. My liver is still completely clear.
2. My doctor continues to be delighted with my response to treatment.
3. I continue on the clinical trial of T-DM1.
The less good news:
1. I have some new, active skeletal metastases in my rib and thoracic vertebrae.
2. They hurt.
The good news in response to the less good news:
1. I will receive radiation on these spots to relieve the pain and hopefully zap this cancer into total oblivion.
2. The clinical trial I am on does not consider progression of cancer in the bones as "worsening of disease". In other words, I get to keep receiving this drug that has done so well for me for so long.
3. I have been advised that activity in the bone does not pose a threat to other organs. Apparently, bones behave differently than tissue.
4. My doctor is not even slightly alarmed by this turn of events and still believes I am doing amazingly well.
In other news, I have begun to receive a weekly iron infusion to combat a hemoglobin deficiency that has caused me great fatigue of late. I am thrilled that the problem has been identified and that we can now address it, as my energy levels have been sub-human the last few weeks (and don't the kids know it--they smell weakness a mile away!)
Although it is difficult to not become alarmed by progression of any kind, my entire medical team has assured me that this is really not, in and of itself, a big deal and is really par for the course with a Stage IV diagnosis. While we all, of course, had hoped that we had beaten things back completely and permenantly with our first strike, the reality is that I am living with a chronic disease. It will rear its ugly head occasionally and we will just have to beat it back into submission each time it shows up with whatever tools we have in our arsenal. And there are plenty of things in that arsenal.
We will tackle this bump in the road head on with every expectation of success and the ever-present knowledge that God is ultimately in charge of it all.
So, let's bring on the radiation, continue with the drug that is keeping my liver healthy, and, above all, keep the faith!