What Happens in the PET Trailer…..

This was supposed to be the cherry on top of the whipped cream – the one test that would tell me that once again, cancer had been beat back – and that I had won this round. Interesting to me that the Scanner is housed in what amounts to a semi–trailer – complete with little elevator to get you inside. Inside is very cramped, but everyone is so nice, and there’s lots of joking around while they prepare the nice radioactive sugar to put in you that tells the tale.


The scan showed that not only was the cancer not gone, it was back in new and different places – not at all the news I wanted to hear! My first thought was…..ok….what do we do now? What gets done when the ‘go-to’ immunological antibody that had always worked before – fails? Is there a ‘plan B’?


After the initial shock – I was all over the internet, and back to the forums of people in my same boat – battling this cancer – non-hodgkins lymphoma. I got some good answers and lots of leads for reading – so I was ready to go to the appointment with my oncologist and the Nurse Practitioner. Of course, they knew that I already knew what the test had revealed – so it was on to solutions.


Seems the next line of defense was to use a different immunological antibody and combine it with a chemo drug – to attack and hopefully defeat the cancer and put me back in remission. The new immunological antibody is called – are you ready for this? – Obinutuzumab – what a mouthful! But, there is a brand name for this and it is called Gazyva. The chemo drug to be added was Bendamustine – not quite as much a mouthful – but it also has a brand name – Treanda. So – the tentative plan is to do 6 rounds of this combination of antibodies and chemo, then another PET/CT scan to see if it has done the job!


Good news is that this combo has been very successful in treating folks like me who had the previous treatment fail – so yay! Bad news is – the previous treatment was down to an 8 minute injection – but the new treatment was back to all day in the infusion room hooked up to the IV. But, that’s ok – it’s the results that matter – so onward and upward. Before we could start – the doc wanted a new CAT scan to see if there are more bad guys lurking anywhere else in my body, and a biopsy of one of the lymph nodes to make sure the cancer hasn’t turned itself into some other kind (yup – it happens!), and putting in a medi-port – because my veins are too small to take the repeated long infusions.

So….on to the next chapter…..