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Today is scan day

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:05pm

I am headed down to Beth Israel Deaconess today for my pre- HDIL2 scans to a) see if there is anything new growing in my brain and b) to measure and count the tumors in my lungs so that we can have them to use for comparison with my post-treatment scans.

My worry is that since we lost a couple of months due to my brain setbacks that the tumors in my lungs have grown quickly and that the cancer has moved beyond the lungs into other organs. Cancer patients have created the term ’scanxiety’ that sums up how we all feel during the scan process. It is a painful time where we sit in tubes, get great access to all this radiation, and then sit and brace ourselves for the worst possible news.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter all that much if the cancer has spread as far as treatment goes. HDIL2, when it works, creates havoc for all tumors south of the blood/brain barrier. It’s the psychological aspect of tumors growing that gets to me. The idea that these things are growing inside me, out of control, is a bit unsettling. For control freaks like myself, cancer and its unruliness, is really a frustrating thing.

So we go in today hoping that there are no new tumors in my brain and with some curiosity about what is going on in my torso:

1:15pm – CT scan of my head

3:15- MRI of my torso

4:30- Meeting with Cho and his team – this is where I have a last chance to ask him questions about the treatment and possible drug interactions, etc. I am going in with a question about carbonic anhydrase IX, a transmembrane protein that may be associated with progression of renal cell carcinoma and survival. If the cancer responds strongly to a certain stain, it seems to predict success with IL-2. I will ask Cho where I sit on the CAIX staining scale. The
score to beat is 85%.

The other factor is ‘pathology and morphology’: certain factors in cell type and structure of the tumor. If the cell type is clear cell RCC (mine is), and the tumor cells have a strongly alveolar structure (a nice neat cluster),then I will be in a good risk group regarding IL-2. If the structure is two other types, then I would be in an intermediate risk group. And if it’s something else, then I am in the high risk group. The key seems to be this: I need to be in the good risk group with a score of >85% on the staining scale.  ( Thanks to Dave deBronkart for this portion of information )

Let’s see what Cho says today.

I am headed down to Beth Israel Deaconess today for my pre- HDIL2 scans to a) see if there is anything new growing in my brain and b) to measure and count the tumors in my lungs so that we can have them to use for comparison with my post-treatment scans.

My worry is that since we lost a couple of months due to my brain setbacks that the tumors in my lungs have grown quickly and that the cancer has moved beyond the lungs into other organs. Cancer patients have created the term ’scanxiety’ that sums up how we all feel during the scan process. It is a painful time where we sit in tubes, get great access to all this radiation, and then sit and brace ourselves for the worst possible news.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter all that much if the cancer has spread as far as treatment goes. HDIL2, when it works, creates havoc for all tumors south of the blood/brain barrier. It’s the psychological aspect of tumors growing that gets to me. The idea that these things are growing inside me, out of control, is a bit unsettling. For control freaks like myself, cancer and its unruliness, is really a frustrating thing.

So we go in today hoping that there are no new tumors in my brain and with some curiosity about what is going on in my torso:

1:15pm – CT scan of my head

3:15- MRI of my torso

4:30- Meeting with Cho and his team – this is where I have a last chance to ask him questions about the treatment and possible drug interactions, etc. I am going in with a question about carbonic anhydrase IX, a transmembrane protein that may be associated with progression of renal cell carcinoma and survival. If the cancer responds strongly to a certain stain, it seems to predict success with IL-2. I will ask Cho where I sit on the CAIX staining scale. The
score to beat is 85%.

The other factor is ‘pathology and morphology’: certain factors in cell type and structure of the tumor. If the cell type is clear cell RCC (mine is), and the tumor cells have a strongly alveolar structure (a nice neat cluster),then I will be in a good risk group regarding IL-2. If the structure is two other types, then I would be in an intermediate risk group. And if it’s something else, then I am in the high risk group. The key seems to be this: I need to be in the good risk group with a score of >85% on the staining scale.  ( Thanks to Dave deBronkart for this portion of information )

Let’s see what Cho says today.

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