This should be the last update until late October.
John had an appointment yesterday with his oncologist, Dr. Sunita Nasta at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. It was a good appointment, once we got into the exam room to talk to her.
John thought he needed to be there by 10:30 for labs, but he really wasn't scheduled until 11:30. That was fine. He got his blood drawn, then we went to eat at the Potbelly Sandwich Shop, which is attached to the hospital. Great little place! There are several across the country. I had a lot of meals there when John was HUP for his transplant 2 years ago. I enjoyed the roast beef with provolone sandwich, while John had the Italian. We both got Broccoli Cheddar soup, since it was Tuesday. YUM!!
So we go back to the Perleman Center to wait for John to be called. John spent most of the time talking back to the TV which was set for a news station (CNN maybe, not sure) Not all the patients were waiting for Dr. Nasta (but it sure felt like it!). She only handles lymphoma and leukemia. But still, this place was hopping yesterday. John's appointment was for 11:45. They called him into the exam room at 2 pm. Sheesh.
Not long after, Dr. Nasta came in. She didn't look concerned, like the last time. She told us that the 2nd PET scan had her puzzled. They had the scan repeated because John was showing activity in his chest, with a couple of nodes lighting up (showing signs of cancer) but the nodes were very small, about the size of a bee bee pellet. The 2nd scan showed a node lit up in the groin, but the ones on the chest were gone. The 1st scan didn't show any activity in the groin. I said the node was like a gremlin, hopping about on the scans to confuse everyone.
Dr. Nasta has determined that the cancer is not showing signs of returning at this time. She did, however, ask for a CT scan of his pelvic area to be done in 3 month's time, in October. She doesnt' want John to get another PET scan because she says he'll be glowing in the dark if he gets any more! (PET scans are nuclear and CT scans have less radiation). John had just gotten to the point where he was seeing her every 6 months but now he's back to every 3 months, at least for the time being.
She does want to be told if John loses 10 lbs or more (he's already lost about 10 lbs, but that could be because of his diabetes) , if he develops a fever repeatedly or if he gets bad night sweats.
So the final diagnosis is that John is still in remission and he's coming up on his 2nd re-birthday on August 28! And yes, we do celebrate it! So stay tuned for another update around Halloween and hopefully, I'll still have good news!!