My mom had a CT scan today. This scan is one of the most important she has had to date. If these images demonstrates that she is in remission, full steam ahead to transplant. If not? I don’t know, but it probably doesn’t involve curing her disease. Months of waiting and planning, weeks of chemo, nights of diarrhea, hours of nausea. They all come down to some pictures, shades of grey on a computer screen.
A picture says so much, and its remarkable that with x-ray technology we can see her lymphoma, that slippery, sneaky moving target. Of course, millions and millions of cells are needed to clog up a single enlarged lymph node. The kind you can notice on physical exam. But with CT scans, we catch sight of her disease in more subtle infiltrates and diffuse enlargements. In a PET CT, we give my mom radioactive sugar, and watch the cancer feast (or not!). Cancer hides and eludes, but we can hunt it, drive it out of the shadows and on to our computer monitors.
My mom’s disease is mostly deep in her abdomen. There is no conveniently located bump on the neck or in the groin to feel, so this upcoming scan is our first chance to see if ICE + ofatumumab is working. Of course, I believe she is gettng a benefit. She sounds bright, happy, and more like herself.
It has to work.