Our Friday meeting with the wonderous Dr. Dan was great. I was ready to hear what he had to say, and take Don Macleod's words of wisdom to heart, "get the most you can out of your chemo."
Dr. Moriarty said that Dr. Ravikumar was really excited and happy with the most recent scans and really impressed. He couldn't believe how small things have gotten. Both Dr.'s are hoping that if the Oct/Nov PET scan comes back negative there will be no surgery involved. This is a good thing. I know Dr. Moriarty does not want to do surgery again if we can demolish this crap with chemo/erbitux and anything else that doesn't involve major surgery. Why? Because surgery too has its pitfalls and problems that comes along with it, and bottom line both he and Dr. Ravi agree it will not increase my chance for a cure/survival any more than other treatment options at this point.
As far as going back on chemo the plan is this. I will continue with Erbitux every two weeks for the next 3 months (erbitux is an anti-cancer drug not a chemo drug). We will watch my CEA level which Dr. Dan said has been very sensitive up until this point and we will watch that to determine wether to throw the cpt-11 (chemo) back in. Basically if it starts to go up a lot I am back on chemo and that is totally fine with me. I feel that I have regrouped and I am ready to "have at it" as it were if necessary. I am very lucky that my chemo is still effective and that my tumors have continued to respond this long.
In regards to the great news two weeks ago things have been amazing. I feel that I just walked away from a 20 car pile-up on the highway completely unscathed. I have experienced joy that I never felt before and a freedom from a constant underlying fear and panic that I have been dealing with for almost a year and a half. I am so very grateful to God. Miracles may not happen overnight but they do happen. Our prayers don't always seem to be answered the way we think they need to be but they are answered beyond our wildest dreams.
I said to Dr. Dan on Friday that when I came to see him in May of 07 "I was on death row right?" and he said "Karen, you were very, very sick. And I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt, you are in the top 5 of all time best responders to treatment I have ever seen." I have chills right now relaying that. I said to him that that was great but also very scary.
Jesus said that all we need is the faith of a mustard seed to move mountains. I remember being a little girl and if I saw mountains I would say to myself "okay Jesus move that mountain." Of course that hasn't happened until now and its not because of my faith but of all you amazing, amazing, giving people who have been praying for me and asking others to pray for me and my family. It is because of your faith I am going to live to be old and full of wrinkles.
I cannot tell you how humbling it is and I continue to thank you all from the bottom of my heart and my family's. Please know I pray for you all as well. I know I continue to have a long road ahead but I have a road, and I get to walk on it with all those whom I love. Thank you God.
I will continue to meet with Dr. Dan every two weeks before I go have my erbitux as we watch and see how things go. You are all in my prayers and thank you just doesn't express how grateful I am that all of you and your love and prayers have gotten me so far. Jesus loves each of us and always hears us.