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My sister Kelly's latest news


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Today is the one year date from Kelly hearing that in fact she did have cancer. She hasn't seemed to notice that, though my other sister and I have reflected on how horrible this day was last year.

But - here is what we have going on now. Kelly has been on Tarceva for nearly 3 months, she had a PET scan about a week and a half ago. Yet again, the lymph nodes all look clean, nothing new has shown up and although the size of the tumor looks unchanged, the SUV went from 19 at diagnosis, to 7 after chemo/radiation, to 3.8 tihs time. We were really quite pleased and admittedly her dr and I both seemed a bit shocked. But really, a great scan!!

Today I took Kelly for a second meeting with UPMC and a rad onc in their cyberknife group. Kelly's med onc was not sold on the idea. He said he wasn't saying no, but that he had reservastions and concerns. We went back today to talk to the rad onc about these issues. The main one being that given her prior treatment, she will get a reduced dose of radiation compared to what they would do if she was radiation naiive. So in reality, when the quote a stat of 70-90% results (no one ever really clarifies for me what they mean by that), that really applies to people with earlier stage disease and less prior treatment.

So I sort of look at it as, odds of the treatment with Kelly leaving her with no residual disease on PET are slim. But, is there a chance that this treatment could extend the period of stable disease, or even decreasing disease, for a period of time? Is this procedure worth trying to get maybe 6 or 12 or 18 months before the cancer in the chest 'escapes' and starts showing up elsewhere?

Kelly needs to decide as she is scheduled for the fiducial implants tomorrow. Stay tuned, but she seems to be leaning towards the idea that "why wouldn't I try this if there is a chance, no matter how small, that it may extend my life longer than without it".

But I'm still dwelling on her great PET. That makes about 7 months so far without the cancer showing up anywhere but in the primary tumor. All and all, that's something totally worth celebrating!

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Oh Dr West is more than familiar with me. :) But thanks. He too feels that given her 7 months and 2 PETs of nothing but local disease, that local treatment would be an avenue to pursue. Ultimately there are some unknowns and it comes down to, do we take the chance (risks being far below what they were when she tried surgery) and hope for whatever it can bring her. She just told my brother that she's going for it, she wants to do everything she can and if this can buy her more time, why not do it! So, fingers crossed and any prayers are greatly appreciated.

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Hi Cat-

Well, your sister sure did rock that scan!!! Good for her!!!

As far as the other procedures go, as a survivor, I can totally understand how she feels. I think I would go for it.

Whatever her decision, you know I am wishing her tons and tons of luck and good days ahead!!

Hugs - Patti B.

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