Thursday, November 8, 2012

PETScan Results: Not Bad, Not Good Either...

So... Kind of a disappointing visit to the cancer center yesterday.  I read my scan results and there is small growth (as in, biggest "target lesion" growth was 3 millimeters, not big at all) in 3 target areas, steady in one, and reduction in one (2 millimeters).  The most worrisome part is my thymus gland- it's grown quite a bit, however, I've had a biopsy done there and quite possibly have some scar tissue and/or reaction in the thymus and is swollen/growing and NOT cancerous.  It's also not bright at all in the SUV brightness of PETscans, and none of the target lesions are bright enough SUV ("yet," always implied, but never said) to predict a rebound of cancer.  Hmm...  So far you've hear the Not Good part of the appointment.  

The Not Bad:  Doctors were very positive and said they see this kind of thing all the time, and are going to cut back quite a bit on the immunosuppressants to let Zach's immune system really kick in and get some Graft vs. Tumor effect to shrink these babies once and for all!  Since I've not had any Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD) during the first 100 days, they say I could very likely get some now that we're cutting back.  It's also not supposed to be a good sign that I have NOT had GVHD yet.  From what I've read, a LITTLE GVHD during the first 100 days is a great sign that the transplant will attack any cancerous cells that might be left over.  

Next scan is in 4 weeks- I'll be in SLC getting that scan done and getting to know all of my new doctor team there.  I'll miss everyone at JTCC- they've been wonderful, and I'd recommend them to anyone with Hodgkin's!  I need to get baking though for my last appointment on Monday- I promised them all some of my famous "Best Sugar Cookies Ever" in little heart shapes with pink frosting :)  

Monday I have CTscans (mostly for the study I'm in), a regular/last checkup to have blood drawn and checked, get copies of scans and my medical record, references of docs in SLC, results from my bone marrow biopsy I had yesterday (not bad by the way), and to get another transfusion of blood.  LONG DAY!  And you might be thinking... but in the last post Tessa said she has become a MAN and doesn't need blood transfusions anymore because she's making her own hemoglobin??  And you'd be right!!  I did say that and apparently I'm mostly right (why can't things just be black or white?  What is this grey crap?? :)  My hemoglobin was only 7.7, which was a little disappointing but still shows some improvement- that I'm not dropping into the 6 range and seeing floating dots or hearing the rushing of my heart pumping blood to my brain faster than usual and/or passing out!  I actually made it up all 3 flights of stairs at the cancer center without having to stop to rest- that's always been my own personal test of what my hemoglobin will be before we get results back- Adam thinks I'm crazy.  


  1. Tessa, it is so good to see you posting again. This is the crazy lady who knows Andrea Over and not you personally (but I am always commenting anyway). ;)

    I am sorry about the "not good either" part of your scan and will pray that it really is nothing. I am sure you get told things all of the time but.... Please look into Protandim and a product called wellmune. Go to (I drink a Monavie drink called (m)Mun with it in it so that is how I found out about this product) but, I promise I am not crazy, nor do I wish to bother you with crazy ramblings. It's just, I have learned so much about these two things and how they help build our bodies immune systems and other many things, and one is fighting cancer and their nasty cells. There was a girl who's family all had cancer and she started taking the wellmune product and some kind of blood test results changed for the better that had to do with cancer (I don't know which one, but apparently this number is REALLY hard to change, but it did) and her doctor (the cancer doctor) said whatever you are doing different keep doing it! Take it every day! Tessa, I really don't know anything about what you are going through. I have no medical knowledge, I just know what I've been taking, how it's been helping me, and I have tried to find out more from those who DO know what they are talking about and from the bottom of my heart just want to pass on what I feel could be a positive thing. I really have no desire whatsoever to be one of "those" people who think they know all the answers for everyone else! BUT, if there was anyway I could find to help you, I figure besides following your blog, leaving messages, and praying for you, I could share what I have learned. Anyway, good luck with your move, I am happy you get to be closer to your family. If you do look into it and have any questions, you could email me at Sorry for the painfully long post, and thanks for your patience...

  2. Tessa, I'm so happy to read your posts again. I hear we are going to be neighbors! I was just talking to Anne and she told me about Adam's new job. I live in Smithfield. I would love to help with your move in any way I can. Please call me! 435 770-9699.

    Tammy Law

  3. Tessa -

    I just stumbled upon your "I'm a Mormon" story. And to say I was moved by your optimism and testimony would be an absolute understatement. Your strength and courage brought tears to my eyes. Please know you and yours are in our prayers. Our first daughter went head-to-head with leukemia so any time I come across someone who is battling cancer my heart becomes so very, very full. Again, your family is in our thoughts and prayers.


    Matt Patterson
    Gilbert, AZ

  4. Tessa! We are so happy you guys are on the same side of the country as us again! We have missed you, Adam and the kids! We might be in Utah for Christmas...if so we would love to do lunch or dinner, or just pop our heads in the door and yell hello at you then run away like the crazies we are. :) I just want you to know that our family is still praying for you every day and just know this has to work! Brock was talking about you last night and how tough you have to be...I told him I had to agree, you are the toughest of the tough. We love you all! Have a great Thanksgiving with your family.

  5. Hey Tessa -
    I haven't looked at your blog for a while but I have been thinking about you so much recently. I'm glad that you updated! I am so glad that Adam got a job in Utah and that you and your family get to move back there and be close to family again. That will be so great for you! Sorry that you had such a tiring 100 days post-transplant! I sure hope and pray that things start to look up for you! You are in my thoughts and prayers, as always!

  6. Tessa,
    I saw your I am a mormon ad. It hit so close to home. My niece is currently fighting cancer. You seem like you have such a positive attitude. Someone gave my sister (after her 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with A.L.L.) a sign that said, "you never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only option." I am so sorry you have to go thru this and I will add you to a list of people that I pray for and think about often. Keep up the fight and Never give up. Know you are a an example to many include people like myself that have never met you.

  7. Hi Tessa - quick wave across the pond...thanks for your message. Do hope things are still going well for you and everyday some further improvement. You have done so well. And great for climbing all those stairs. I know that one! I am sending you a gentle high five. Soon to be following in your path, or at least a parallel one. Take care. Keep warm. Love from a very chilly London Town. Tessa