Good News...at Long Last
I love having something good to report! The results of Ellie's CT scan showed NO adrenal tumor! It was a small tumor to begin with, but as it was the primary it needed to be removed. Now that it no longer exists... there will be no surgery! We are so happy and relieved. She will eventually need radiation at that site, as the primary tumor is made up of both fast and slow growing cells. The chemo often kills all of the fast growing cells, but the slow growing kind can lurk quietly in the background, just waiting for the opportunity to multiply and send out new baby tumors to various and sundry locations.
The results of the MIBG scan revealed that there is improvement in the other tumor sites - many do not show up anymore, but they are not all completely gone. Still - there is improvement and for that we are so thankful. The scan only showed some remaining activity in the tumor in her head and the ones in her legs. None of the others were seen - spine, ribs, or pelvis.
We do not yet know whether Ellie's bone marrow has cleared. She will be receiving bone marrow biopsies on Friday. (This was supposed to be done during surgery, so that was the only test not yet performed.)
The stem cell harvest that was scheduled for tomorrow actually happened today! Everything happens fast here. Her white count was high enough yesterday, so we came in this morning and during a very easy, painless procedure, a little over 5 million stem cells were harvested. They would like to have a little more than that, so we will go back in tomorrow for more. In the afternoon, Ellie has an appointment with an opthalmologist. The a busy day on Friday with bone marrows...
Saturday and Sunday promise to be restful and uneventful, medically speaking. Melanie and Richard are planning to come and visit us and have offered to keep Ellie occupied so that John and I can get out and explore the city. We are so excited! Our thirteenth wedding anniversary is on the 19th., so I think that we will go out and celebrate early. (These days it's better to celebrate things when the opportunity presents, rather than waiting for the actual day.)
On Monday (blood counts permitting) Ellie will go in for chemo round #6! This is all happening so quickly... we were all geared up for surgery... planning and dreading it... and now chemo? The doctor explained to us that it is still important to do at least one other round of chemo because it is best to get as much of the cancer as they possibly can before starting the 3F8 Monoclonal Antibody. This treatment is the most effective when there is very little cancer left in the body - larger masses are much more difficult to get. This makes a lot of sense, even though we don't like seeing her go through another chemo. We would like to see her gain a litte more weight before going into chemo, but at least now we don't have the surgery hanging over our heads. I don't even know if it has all sunk in for me yet. I can't switch gears that fast, but I'm trying.
So that's the scoop. You are probably just as stunned as I was (and still am) so I will leave you to soak it all in and revel a while in the good news. You have all been so very faithful to share in our sorrows and burdens, that it feels wonderful to share our joy with you this time! Thank you for your prayers for Ellie and for our whole family. (And please keep remembering our little buddy boy... he's so far away and we miss him so much.)