Karen's doing GREAT and so am I. After an emotional week we finally met with Moriarty this afternoon to review the latest CT Scans (taken this past Monday).
The news is good. Karen's tumors are smaller than they were in April and much smaller than they were in January. The largest tumor is currently 5.5 cm diameter, down from 10cms in Jan 2008.
These tumors were all ablated back in November 2007 and so we are seeing a lot of "calcification" as a result of that procedure. Calcification is exactly what it sounds like, the tumors build up deposits of calcium as a result of being necrotic (dead).
The radiologists' report revealed that the tumors do not "enhance" under contrast. My layman's understanding of this is that the stuff you drink when you're having a CT scan is absorbed by the tumors. This stuff shows up under the scan, making the tumors have higher contrast with surrounding tissue. Karen's didn't do that, therefore they didn't absorb the contrast fluid and hence this is another indication that they might be dead.
How dead they are we don't know. Moriarty said you'll never know they're fully dead but that's ok.
Lastly the scan showed that there is no NEW growth anywhere else. I'd call that a result.
The next step is to get these scans in the hands of our surgeon at LIJ. We burned some CDs and overnighted them this afternoon.
Moriarty and Ravikumar will review and confer this week and we'll have another consultation a week from tomorrow.
The last bit of good news is that Karen's new regime is for Erbitux only. No more CPT-11. Moriarty feels that this is what's having the most effect. The key is to figure out how to keep things where they are and keep improving K's situation. What a great job he and the team have done so far.
It's a lot to absorb, we're both mentally drained. Still taking it a day at a time and for today things couldn't have gone any better.