I didn’t tell many people I was getting a scan last Saturday. I felt like a broken record, always delivering the same news. As heartbreaking as it is to receive bad news, I always find it harder to share it. I wanted better results, and I knew how badly the people I love wanted them for me.
Which is why I am so, so very glad I don’t have to give you bad news today.
My tumor has begun to shrink.
It took 18 months since starting treatment, two types of oral chemo, and six rounds of IV chemo, but this thing is slowly responding.
Here’s the details: it shrunk .6 cm in one direction. It grew .1 cm in another and shrunk .1 cm in a third, so overall a net change of -.6 cm.
It is a small change and I don’t care. It’s the most measurable response I’ve ever seen! As one of my friends put it, it can’t shrink three inches if it doesn’t shrink .6 cm. Here’s the best part: I was told at my second opinion earlier this year that the hardest thing about desmoids is often breaking the pattern of growth/stability and getting them to start shrinking. Once they make that switch, some patients can eventually even come off treatment and continue to watch their tumors decrease in size. There is a lot of reason for me to feel hopeful about the direction my tumor’s taking.
When you have a disease like mine, it’s so hard not to look around you and wonder why you’re suffering while someone else is healthy, or why someone else didn’t make it and you’re still here. There’s a lot of searching for reasons. I don’t have any answers. I’m still a cancer patient, and I’m still in active treatment. I have an unknown number of rounds ahead of me. But the hope that this moment has gifted me is immeasurable. I finally know change is possible, and that’s victory enough for me. I’m going to revel in it for as long as I can, even if I don’t know why.
(But also, no one can prove that it *wasn’t* the fact that I listened to the Spice Girls in the MRI machine. You can bet I’ll be spicing up the life of my radiologist in three more months when I go back for another scan.)
Thank you so much for continuing to read along. I am so grateful for your love, prayers, and prayers, through thick and thin!