Good scans

Today’s oncologist appointment was cheery.  We went over my CT scan and MRI from last Friday and things are looking pretty good again.  The best news is that the one remaining brain lesion is significantly smaller (how significantly, I will leave up to those of you who can calculate the volume of an irregular ovoid 3-D shape…ask & I’ll send you the two sets of measurements).  It was smaller in all 3 dimensions.  Less-than-avid followers of this particular plotline might not remember that in June, the main brain lesion was looking a little more active, maybe even a bit bigger, than in March (which bought me a ticket to a 2-month scan interval instead of 3).  So to have it measure significantly smaller this time around is very reassuring.

And an educational public-service announcement about stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), again: this kind of treatment (zapping instead of cutting out) is known to lead, in the months after SRS, to this kind of confusion (is it growing, or is it just slightly more visible to the MRI as part of the process of dying off?).

The CT scan showed everything the same–the two metastases unchanged in size, weird liver “hypodensity” unchanged, and most importantly, no new lesions anywhere.  My gallbladder was apparently unremarkable and I took offense at the mention of my “inferior neck structures” 🙂

After a brief discussion with my oncologist of our consultation at the Block Center (more about which later…it’s dense), we had an interesting personal talk about meditation and then it was off for chemo, in the recently expanded but quite empty (today) infusion room.

So they added two new rooms onto the infusion area by opening up what used to be a corridor of private treatment rooms for really sick folks, and they seem to to me to have missed the boat on effective design.  The two rooms are open on one side (the side that connects to the rest of the area) so they’re really more like giant alcoves.  Each has 5 or 6 infusion chairs.  All face each other–so when sitting in one, you are looked at by all the others.  This does not seem to me to be a nice way to set up the chairs.  However, it does mean that all the patients can be easily seen by the nursing staff as they walk by or stand at the open end of the room/alcove.  Still.  Our favorite chair is still at the end of the hall that comes off the main room like a little tail.  It has a great view of the medication-preparation room (with exciting science-lab hood!) and the water cooler.  Plus it’s near the bathrooms.

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3 thoughts on “Good scans

  1. Shelly

    Good news about good scans! Looking forward to hearing about your Block Center experiences: curious about what other treatments they suggested. And I’m sure your gall bladder is remarkable in its own way, and since your neck structures hold up your head just fine, we can assume that they, too, if not superior, are wonderfully adequate. 😉

  2. Dorian


    I am so so happy to hear this.

    It sounds like someone should tip off Sarah Susanka about the need for a new addition to her series: The Not So Big Infusion Room.

  3. Ellen! Shelly just told me that you were sick and undergoing chemo. I have colon cancer, so have just started chemo treatment. I’m doing a black humor sort of blog about the experience. Here’s the address:

    Meanwhile, Kathryn and I remember you fondly. We were talking about one of the Cons we attended and dined with you and Shelly. You kept us in stitches with your quick and very dry humor the whole night.

    Anyway, next time I’m in the infusion chair I’ll think, it’ll be okay. Ellen is probably doing the same thing right now.


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