Friday Sandi had a CT scan. Yesterday we went into to the oncology clinic for Dr. visit plus expected to restart chemo after 6 weeks off since her Sandi's last chemo cycle. Going into this, Sandi was super anxious as, other than fighting cancer, chemo has absolutely nothing good to be said for it and has the ability to remove most of the pleasure from living.
Well, things didn't turn out as we expected. Sandi ultimately traded doing more chemo for playing on the deck with the girls and taking a nap. That's a heck-of-a horse trade if you ask me.
Why was this possible? Well, in short, God is showing his grace. Her CT scan showed continued stability of the tumor so there was no immediate need to go back for more chemo. She had a CA19-9 test drawn yesterday also. We just got the results back on that and over the past 6 weeks, it's fallen to 90, down from 251 last time it was checked 6 weeks back. That's a 64% drop in the tumor marker protein without any intervening chemo treatments!
Sandi has continued Vitamin C and ALA infusions during her break, so the good results are some combination of chemo after-effect, ansillary treatments, and God's hand. Sandi will continue her "break" for now, still continuing Vitamin C and ALA, but no chemo.
At this point, when to restart chemo will be determined by "events on the ground". We have another appointment with her new oncologist (who rocks, along with her new palliative care doctor who also rocks) scheduled for next week to talk about a care strategy. I believe as long as the tumor continues to be suppressed (based on future CT scans and blood tests), there seems to be little reason to resume chemo.
This is not "remission" or anything of the sort.. but it is "living with cancer" and not doing chemo makes every day something to be cherished.