Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Cancer Update: Really Good News

Wow. What a morning. I am not sure where to begin.

Earlier today I met with the leading endocrinologist at UCSF, who was recommended to me by my surgeon, Dr. Clark. It took me two months to get this appointment.

My intention was to a. get a second opinion as to whether he concurred with my next course of action (going hypo, 100 milicure treatment dose of radiation in December) and b. to get his thoughts on whether I should use Thyrogen, which is a quasi-experimental drug that's increasingly being used in lieu of going off thyroid medications.

We spent an hour together and he went through my entire history; everything from my initial diagnosis to my neck, to my thyroidectomy, treatement dose, hip scan, April 30 scan results, subsequent MRI, CT, PET and ultrasound results, etc.

As he looked at my records he kept saying "good, good" and "excellent." I told him to keep the "excellents" coming but that I was fine with "goods" as well. He laughed and responded that he wished most of his patients had results similiar to mine.

I could probably recap the entire conversation, but here is what it came down to:

-- results of my recent scans, most especially my neck ultrasound, compounded with my positive blood results (he was especially pleased that my TG was undetectable when I was hypo back in April; he said this was a *very* positive sign) lead him to conclude that there is no evidence of thyroid disease in my system

-- he's not overly concerned about my positive scan in April and thinks that the treatment dose of radiation might have had a latent affect

-- he does not think I need a treatment or scan dose in December based on the current lack of evidence of disease

-- instead, he recommends another neck ultrasound in December and regular bloodwork (I had another TSH/TG test today) and to regularly monitor things in this manner. If irregularities ultimately arise (TG rises, ultrasound shows a bad node), we'll deal with it appropriately

All in all: I could not have asked for better news. In fact, it far exceeded my expectations for this meeting. While I would not go so far as to say I am out of the woods, I am on Cloud Nine at the moment.

I cannot express how much dismayed I was of the prospect of a. going hypo again (which probably would not have been the case as he would have given me the thyrogen shots) b. having to clear the family out of the house again for another big treatment dose and c. having to wait six months after that for a clear bill of health.

And then, there's the not so small matter of ingesting another 100 milicures of highly potent radiation, which was a prospect I obviously did not relish.

So, there you have it. While I'm not ready to change the name of this blog quite yet, this is a big, big, big step in the right direction.

10 comments:

df said...

Sweet!

kaisersoze said...

Nice one! cause for celebration- got any good scotch?

susan said...

Great news!

Carrie said...

So glad to hear the good news!

I visited your parents' house last weekend for the Solomon grandkid reunion and saw April, Zevan and Summer. You were missed!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Finkel, Carrie and Sue! ANd jaiser, indeed, I have a nice bottle of Signatory MacCallan that I've been waiting to crack open!

-hs

BEST-MOTHER-IN-LAW said...

Great news about your check-up....Well, the children have moved from your house to mine. The sound levels have changed here(in a good way) laughter and the joy of having them here makes me forget about my post surgery and the thought of having to start radiation therapy next week. Thank you for letting them ( April too!) come to visit the best-mother-in-law. Again, thrilled about your report. Nana

Crazymamaof6 said...

awesome! and i am so glad you feel good about all of the news. and about your new dr.!

foodmomiac said...

yay Howie!!! We are thrilled.

nicholas said...

congrats on the recent bit of great news. Hope you and the rest of the fam keep getting better news every day. Keep up this great blog. Reading this is just like talking to you, which i dont get to do too often.

Nicholas

michael said...

awesome. just awesome. great news to hear after being on vacation for 10 days.

i think the recent trip to chicago helped.

congrats solomons...