Monday, February 23, 2009

Check up, check in

We went to New York late last week for a CT scan marking my completion of the first six weeks of brivanib. The scan showed that my tumors have grown by something like 5 to 8 percent, which falls within the margins of stable disease, so I will continue on the study for at least another six weeks. My doctor also threw me a bone: He felt the tumors looked "different," perhaps less dense, in a way that may show the drug is beginning to work.

I'm happy to be able to continue on the trial, but the visit did little to relieve my anxiety. Although stable disease is a reasonable enough treatment goal for me right now, I'd prefer to see "stable" marginally smaller or "stable" no change than a "stable" with growing tumors. I also haven't read the radiologist's formal report yet, which is invariably depressing. Whether it's their equipment or their people, merely going to Sloan Kettering and running myself through one of their machines revealed all sorts of problems I didn't know I had. There are no secrets from MSKCC radiology, apparently.


Kathy said...

Sometimes, there is swelling before tumors die. I know one person who was booted from a clinical trial because his tumors purportedly grew. He was scanned a couple months later to see what was happening and the Radiologists found NED. Think positive? Not easy sometimes, I know because I'm having coniptions about getting my scan results in two days.

SG said...

ugh, good luck tomorrow. do you blog about this stuff anywhere, or should i try to find out from you what happens here? i still feel discouraged about the scan, but you're right... these tumors do strange things

Kathy said...

Yes, my blog is at

My results were GOOD! Shrinkage of 20% to all measurable tumors. I had 9 little buggers. I was so happy about the reduction in size, I forgot to ask if there was a reduction in number. Some were less than 1mm. Look into seeing a clinical nutritionist. I'm a big advocate for a good program. It's really helped with energy, side effects, etc. and I honestly believe it helped me achieve these results.If you feel comfortable, I have no issues with emailing I've learned from all of you and hope that some that I talk to have learned something from me too.

Elsa D. said...

Card Blue: It sounds like good news! My "stable" means growth of close to 20%
Kathy: Shrinkage of 20% is great!

I'll reach my 18th week on the 6th, I'll post the results of my scan. I have a feeling that they will kick me out of the study... :( since my tumors have been growing more than they should.

SG said...

hey, great news Kathy. I'll have to check your blog out. Elsa, I understand being discouraged (oh yes I do), but at least in my case, I seem to have very little idea of what's going on inside, so let's hope the situation is happier than you fear.