Met with my medical oncologist and my radiation oncologist today and got the results of the CT scan I had on Friday. Instead of my metastatic liver tumor shrinking, it has grown. The report states that everything that showed up on the previous scan is stable except for the liver tumor. Which is very disappointing. It was 1.5cm when first discovered in May, then after 8 rounds of aggressive chemo it shrank to 1cm. I finished up the last FOLFOX plus Avastin treatment on September 30, had a month off to recover, then began chemoradiation on November 16, finishing up on Dec. 30. So after 28 treatments of radiation aimed at the rectal tumor, during which I was hooked up to a chemo pump that delivered 5-FU twenty-four hours a day 5 days a week, the liver tumor grew like Topsy and is now 3x2.4cm.
Quite disappointing results, especially since the 5-FU caused nasty side effects like mouth sores and peripheral neuropathy. So as much as I would like to say that the nasty treatment was worth it given the results, in all honesty I can't. But now we just have to move on and figure out what to do next. I meet with the colorectal surgeon on Friday to see if an exam and possible scope of the rectal tumor shows the positive response the CT scan shows, or whether he feels we need to go ahead with surgery on the rectal tumor. After that and after the oncologist and surgeon decide on a plan, they'll determine when we go back to treating the liver with another blast of chemo in order to shrink it again before doing an ablation or a resection. The medical oncologist is concerned that we not wait too long since it does seem very chemo-sensitive and is afraid it will continue to grow as long as it isn't being treated. On a little bit of a positive note, when the radiation oncologist read the scan report, he decided to pull up the actual axial images with the slices from the scan. He says that the images are not quite as alarming as the written report and he was much more optimistic after seeing them. I'm hoping his optimism is justified.
Meanwhile, I'm still planning to start seeds, plan a garden, keep refilling the bird feeders, go to yoga classes, enjoy bird watching, moon gazing, cooking and finding ways to aggravate poor Mr. G. In other words, do all the things that I normally do and still can do as long as I am able to, because, as I mentioned before, life goes on. Until it doesn't. So we may as well go on with it and continue the business of living instead of wasting time worrying about dying.