On American Idol, you watch the performances one day, and get the results a day or two later. When you have cancer, you get a PET scan one day, and get the results a day or two later. In both cases (for some people), the anticipation and anxiousness can be unbearable. I could care less which David won American Idol (spoiler, it was David Cook), but I do care about the results of Jen’s PET scan!
The PET scan is being done to see how the chemo is doing against the tumor in her chest. While it is expected that the tumor has shrunk in size, it won’t be gone. However, the tumor may be completely necrotic, and to quote Fancy Nancy, That’s a Fancy Word for dead.
And if it is dead, and there are no more signs of tumors in Jen’s body, it will be a fairly momentus occasion — we will have a remission date. The remission date is important, because if a subsequent PET scan on or after 1 year past the remission date also comes out clean, with no sign of living or dead cancerous cells, Jen’s chances of permanent remission move to 99%.
We’re hoping that the remission date will be May 23rd, but we’re being realistic that it may not be. If it is, it’s amazing news that the cancer has responded extremely well to the treatment, and that there is a very good chance Jen will be lymphoma-free for a nice long time. If not, it will be a bit of a blow for Jen, who, along with all of us, has really been hoping and praying that this PET scan comes out clean. It doesn’t change her 80-90% odds of permanent remission, and it still leaves a good amount of room for future PET scans to come out clean, but it won’t be the outcome we’ve been hoping for.
So we’re a little tense around here. The meeting with Dr. Spira is at 12:15pm on Friday May 23rd. I’ll post the results as soon as we know, and hopefully they’ll be all good.