PET scan and graduation announcement
We have great news to report. After receiving discouraging/confusing information from Lorelei’s CT scan last Friday (May 4) that the mass in her chest had not reduced in size after six chemo rounds and that there was an increase in fluid around her heart, Lorelei had a mid-way PET scan and echocardiogram today.
The good news is that there has actually been significant improvement. Even though that mass (“the tumor”) in her chest is still indeed very large, only about 10% of it is still active cancer. The PET scan causes active cancer to glow, and as you can see in the attached photo, only a small percentage of the original tumor still glows yellow. So, this means the chemo is definitely working. That cancer is dying.
The “dead” tumor/mass will likely remain. If it has not reduced in size at this point, the odds that it will reduce significantly with subsequent chemo and radiation are low. But that’s okay. Her clinical symptoms have improved even with its remaining presence. And the doctor believes that the slight increase in the fluid around her heart is likely caused by the chemo and not any strain the tumor is placing on the heart. Please join with us in praying that this fluid subsides and that no permanent damage is being done to her heart.
It is the nature of Lorelei’s particular type of cancer to leave behind these very hard scarred up lymph nodes. (Her cancer is called NHSL for “Nodular Sclerosing Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.) It’s not leaving behind dead tissue that will eventually be resorbed by the body; these are very hard scars she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life. So, we’ll need to depend on PET scans instead of CT scans from now on to determine if the cancer is and stays in remission.
We are so relieved.
So, tonight we will rest easily. And that’s a good thing because Lorelei has an AP test in the morning!
Plus, here’s a confession: I still have not completed the addressing and mailing of her graduation announcements. (That should have been done two weeks ago but I’ve been a bit distracted!) If you’re a “facebooker” I’ve posted the announcements and her senior photo to facebook. And, if not, I’ll just trust that those of you who actually care will know that she graduates from Putnam City North High School on Sunday May 20th at 6:30pm in the Cox Convention Center. She’s ranked number five in her class (she’s one smart cookie) and we couldn’t be more proud of this great accomplishment. Please join us as we celebrate this very big milestone in Lorelei’s life.
One more prayer request: Please pray that the Thunder doesn’t have a playoff game that overlaps the time of Lorelei’s graduation. If so, she may be very torn.
Posted on Mon, May 7, 2012
by Andrea Decker