Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Feb. 23 CT scan results

Hello, friends and family.  Steve checking in.
Gabrielle had her much anticipated, and equally dreaded CT scan today:  pelvis, abdomen and chest.  The nights leading up to this saw many sleepless folks in the Dudley household.  I guess worry can do that to you.  Anyhow, cutting to the chase, there was some definite improvement in the abdominal lymph nodes.  One, for example, had shrunk from 1.9 cm on the October scan, to 1.1 on today's!  That's great.  They're still there, but smaller, so I guess the Doxil is doing its job, albeit slowly.  Still no advancement of disease in the abdomen.  Nothing in the pelvis, so we're good there.  Interestingly, the radiologist's report said her gall bladder was surgically absent.  Funny.  We never knew that.  Perhaps he missed seeing it.  As for the chest, the same lymph nodes are there, and about the same size. One is a skosh bigger, but not by much, just a millimeter.

So, that's all good news!  Right?  Right!  But it was met with a bit of disappointment too, as we had hoped that after four months of harsh chemo, things would be even better.  Doc said that this drug "takes time", so we need to be patient.  The toughest part is that she had hoped to be given a reprieve from the chemo after a total of six treatments (six months, that is), and then have a break for a while, like she did last time.  This go round, apparently the plan is to stick with it indefinitely if the side effects aren't too bad.  That's a huge adjustment to have to make: going from "I'll be done after two more treatments" to "I may have to be on this for the rest of my life".  So we are adjusting to the new normal of life with chemo.  And there are all sorts of good things to focus on.  For example, our neighbors are bringing us pizza tonight!!  Woo hoo!  Gotta love that!  I'll have an extra slice please!  We also had a good walk on the Edmonds waterfront where the mountains were out and people were everywhere enjoying the beautiful afternoon.  The only sad part was seeing a lonely, somewhat skinny seal pup sitting on the dock by the fishing pier.  We have seen him before, but he is losing weight.  I hope his mom didn't forget him.  Perhaps I will save a slice of pizza for him.

So, that's it for now.  Just wanting to give you an update.  As I said above: we are cheered by the shrinkage in the lymph nodes, but saddened about endless chemo.  Doc is going to tweak the pre-meds next time to mitigate some of the side effects of the chemo.  We feel blessed to have such a caring and attentive doctor.  Oh, and doubly blessed to have such wonderful caring people like you folks in our lives who are a constant source of support, encouragement, and prayers to Gabrielle and the rest of us.

Be good, and thanks for checking in.


  1. Reminds me of the renal ultrasound done on one of my (healthy) 1-day-old patients, which read in part "There is thickening of the left ureter consistent with stent placement."

    I would like to think the ghost surgeons are really just looking out for the well-being of others.

  2. So glad to hear that you had a little good news from your CT scan! Any little bit of good news has got to be welcome during this tough time. I hope that the news you continue to receive throughout treatment will only be good. Thinking of you during this time. Good luck!