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Great Expectations

Seven years ago when I was first diagnosed with carcinoid by an endocrinologist I was scared and didn’t know what to expect. The ensuing weeks of scans, biopsies, lab work and visits with an oncologist left me even more frightened, and saw my expectations run the gamut from “maybe this thing can be surgically removed and I’ll be cured” to “this thing is incurable and I’ll be lucky to survive five years.”

This past week Kathy and I spent two days in LA at Cedars-Sinai where I had follow-up imaging and lab work. It’s been about six months since my last round of PRRT in Houston. I was expecting results that just showed my disease is stable with no new growth. Instead Dr. Wolin and the radiologist were ecstatic to discover from the MRI that all of my tumors were still shrinking. That’s right: six months later and the PRRT is still shrinking all of the tumors in my liver, lung, diaphragm and lymph nodes. This is the best news we could have hoped for!

Now I expect to still be around for awhile, and keep up the fight against carcinoid!

Resting at Home

Not much to report, but I’m so glad to be back home and finished with PRRT. Unfortunately I feel worse this time than the previous trips. I think that after four rounds my body is just screaming, “enough already!” I’m tired and queasy and just a pleasure to be around. Thank God for Kathy and her TLC.

I head to LA in four weeks for a 2-day follow-up at Cedars-Sinai with my oncologist. Then the first week of May I’ll be returning to Houston for a couple days of follow-up scans and evaluation. As long as everything remains stable, or hopefully even shrinks a little, we’re in good shape.

I know I’ll feel much better in a week or two. I had my monthly injection of Sandostatin LAR yesterday, the first since October, which will help with my symptoms. I’m so looking forward to regaining some strength and stamina. I will keep posting with more news from the doctors as it becomes available.

First Day in Houston

So in case you haven’t heard, it’s ridiculously hot and humid in Texas right now. Thank goodness for air conditioning. It’s okay though because the people and the facility at Excel Diagnostics are all first rate. I’m very lucky to be here and to have access to this therapy. We’re also very fortunate to be staying with some old friends in Spring, Texas just north of Houston.

Today was pretty simple, just an hour or so this morning spent doing an EKG and a MUGA scan. That scan was done on the machine I’m standing next to above. First they injected me via IV with a couple of different chemicals, one radioactive, that allowed them to see my heart pumping away. Then about 20 minutes in the scanner and that was it.

Excel Diagnostics, Houston
Excel Diagnostics, Houston

Kathy and I also got to meet a fellow patient who was starting her PRRT journey today. She’s from California and sees the same oncologist as I do at Cedars. It’s great to have others to talk to who are experiencing the same thing, rooting each other on.

Tomorrow brings a couple more scans over a few hours. I’ll post more afterward. Thanks for checking in.