Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Feb 14,15,16.A set back

The trip to Hyderabad was great. 650 Km slated to be done in 12 hours; we made it in around 9 hours. He! He! The roads were all right and the scenery was beautiful, especially the Ghat section between Cuddapah and Kurnool. We took a little while to navigate within the city, because the traffic is insane.
Once we got settled, we went over to the famous biriyani centre –Paradise for dinner. It was great food and a lovely ambiance. Definitely a must for any one going!
The PET scan was at 10 am on the 15th. Despite the fact that the result was not great, the experience of going through the scan was lovely.
The Apollo hospital Hyderabad has a PET CT machine in a separate building, away from the main hospital building. I first met the doctor, who took a history and made sure I was ready for the scan. I was then taken to the procedure room, where they made me check my weight and calculated the dose of FDG I needed. My veins are still quite scarred from chemo, and Anne usually has been starting lines for me. I needed a couple of pokes till they could secure a venous access. Ouch! but not their fault!
The scan requires you to sit in a dimly lit room for a while, till the drug is taken up in the body. Since the base molecule is glucose, any talking or excessive movement will cause the radioactive FDG to concentrate in those muscles giving a false result.
The scan as such took 40 min, and not much trouble through it. I was sent to a room to wait after the scan was done. Anne’s dad was with us in the hospital; he had meetings nearby and adjusted things to be there as well.
The doctors at Apollo were great. We told them that we hoped to drive out, and they got all my scan reports and CD’s ready by 3 pm.
My reports? The PET sadly shows features of residual tumor. That’s not great news, what the Gallium scan thought was negative. The PET has said that there still is active lymphoma tissue in the chest. These images could just be the result of chemo scarring, but that would be wishful thinking - a PET is more sensitive than Gallium in such imaging. The good thing is it is in the radiation field and can be tackled by radiating the residual lymph nodes.
Am I upset? Well, I have placed it completely in Gods hands. I can’t say that I am happy about not having gone into complete remission, but there is still radiation left and this may be Gods way of saying that I still need to leave things up to him. It’s not over yet!
The trip back was great; we drove half way and spent the night at Kurnool before setting off early the next morning. We stopped for coffee in a restraunt that is cut into a rocky area – very nice place. The picture has a bit of it in focus.
So I get back to Vellore with the news of still having the tumor in me. The results have already been conveyed to my radiation oncologist – Dr. Subhashini and she has fixed my radiation planning session for 9 AM on Friday. Seems like there is a lot more to go before I finish this lymphoma saga! It can get a bit bugging and long drawn out at times. Wish I could just get back to work like in the old days and shed this patient role.

9 comments:

Madhu said...

hey tarun..this is madhavi from the batch of '95..dont know if u remember..my husband was showing me a couple of blogs he thought i would be interested in, as i am starting one of my own... and yours showed up..good to know ure coping well with your treatment and i sincerely admire your courage...hope everything goes well for you , anne and ofcourse koby...God bless.

Carlos ("Carl") said...

Tarun,

Of course it's a setback to hear of the residual tumor, especially after floating along for a few days on the false hopes provided by the Gallium scan. It doesn't sound like this changes anything, though - you were going to get the radiation anyway. This means that you can now pursue the radiation with renewed purpose, knowing that it's more than a prophylactic measure. Sure, it's not exactly the news you were looking to hear... but the real good news is that the cancer is localized in a particular area that the doctors can reach with radiation.

I can remember when, as a kid, I was out backpacking with my Boy Scout troop, and our leader would answer our exhausted query, "Are we there yet?" by saying, "I think it's over the next hill." It wasn't, of course - there was another hill to go - but sometimes all we could focus on, or needed to focus on, was the hill we were then climbing. You've climbed one hill, my friend, and now you've discovered another one looming up between you and your goal. Yet God will be with you just as much on this leg of the journey as on all the previous ones.

Go with God, knowing that you're supported by the prayers of friends around the world!

Carl

Anonymous said...

Tarun,
Take care and Our Lord will be with you every step of the way,
Nimi

Anonymous said...

Tarun,
Prayers will be answered. You will get through this. Just don't give up!

Anonymous said...

Tarun,

Through all of this, we are more than "conquerors" - by His stripes you are healed! I pray today with faith that God of Abraham, Jacob and Moses will heal you completely. Don't worry, our prayers will be answered!

S.

KESI said...

tarun,
i hope that you will get better. don't give up hope and keep/retain that positive attitude that you have had since the beginning. enjoy the small pleasures that life offers us...it is nice that you and anne got to go to the biriyani restaurant and coffee place.
kesi
p.s: i had wanted to comment to one of your previous post but never got around to doing it - so shall do it here - that is - i think anne's new hair cut suits her very well.

KESI said...

tarun,
i hope that you will get better. don't give up hope and keep/retain that positive attitude that you have had since the beginning. enjoy the small pleasures that life offers us...it is nice that you and anne got to go to the biriyani restaurant and coffee place.
kesi
p.s: i had wanted to comment to one of your previous post but never got around to doing it - so shall do it here - that is - i think anne's new hair cut suits her very well.

Anonymous said...

OK, so now the radiotherapy team has a focus for their work.

Following the theme from another post, another question that runs through our heads sometimes is "Are we winning yet?" - when waking up while sleeping through a televised soccer match. The answer to that question for you, dear Tarun, is that you have been winning hands down all the way - with your faith, your family, your friends, and simply with being who you are. It is a moot question for you. You are a winner, in all ways, regardless of what lies in your journey of life.

Love,

Lizzie amama

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