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2 clean pet scans, now what ?

Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi everyone,
just looking for a bit of input to what I might anticipate next. I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer with mets to liver in April 2010 ( April 1st to be exact, the mother of all April fools jokes it was not.) Had colon resection in may of 2010 and in July started 6 months of chemo every two weeks. at the end of that round (December ) I got the good news that my scan was clean, my chemo was changed to every three weeks, same dosages of the same medicines.just had another PET scan and its clean as well, I feel the oncologist is going to offer me three choices for the next step, 1. same meds at once per month, 2. a change to the meds to eliminate the component that gives me the fatigue and nuropathy (my only real side effects ) or 3. a chemo break...what I'd really like is a chemo break but do not want to sabotage my current success ..any advice?

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I am not sure what to suggest for the meds, but I can say celebrate the 2nd clear scan; that is awesome!

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Once I was clean, or NED, I was not on chemo anymore.

Stage IV, Nov 2008
Colon Resection Nov 2008
January, 3 months of chemo
April, Liver Resection
June, 3 months of chemo
August -- Done with Chemo

Off Chemo and NED since. Last Scan April 2011

jjaj133's picture
Posts: 869
Joined: Mar 2011

I feel like the exception to all the rules. i had 5 years clear after colon resection then it showed up in liver. I had a liver resection & finished 6 mths of chemo last feb. 2010. Now its back in liver again and will be having another resection and chemo.
My point is to proceed cautiously. I really felt I beat it, the results were always so positive. This beast is so upredictable I doubt if there is the "Right Choice". There is only gut instincts mixed with other peoples experiences and dr. recommendations.
I will be praying for you.

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Congratulations on your second clear scan.

No advice on what course to follow next, just make sure that whatever you select is something you will not look back on with regret. As we move thru this process, we have to do what we feel is right based on the best opinions we can get. Don't ever look back and say "if I had chosen differently maybe...".

Take the best option for you today and move forward. There are no guarantees for us no matter what we choose to do.

Marie who loves kitties

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

Thing a litlle bit more and go ahead with any decision ! Both can work!.
in my case I didn't chemo but I regret it today,BUT! this is just my opinion!.

Posts: 457
Joined: Dec 2010

Congratulations! This is a really good news! Good luck with whatever decision you will make!

Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

This is a conversation to have with your Oncologist, and one I have already had even though I am not currently NED (you and I were same diagnoses at almost exactly the same time).

For me quality of life is more important than length, so if I were to get a period of NED I would use it to travel or work or do some other thing I really enjoy. Then, when/if I again show signs of disease I will resume treatment.

Why? I am on the front end of this disease, and am relatively healthy. I have witnessed the back end in a kind of fast forward with my mothers pancreatic cancer, so I know that the good health I enjoy today will not be the health I enjoy if/when I reach the end point.

It was a long and fun conversation with my doctor. Hopefully it will be the same for you.

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Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

is there is no way to know if they are working (future scans cannot measure what they cannot see).

If you choose to do maintenance, and you get a positive scan next time, did it help? If you do not and get one will you feel like you should have?

Kind of a crapshoot, and one where you will never know what the right decision was, which is just one more reason to have a frank discussion with your doctor.

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