Good morning, Army.
On Tuesday, we'll be heading back to see Dr. McGaughey. We'll get scan results.
Last time we did this, I reported that Abi was stable, and didn't go into a lot of detail, but perhaps this is a good time to reset everyone on the implications of these scans.
When our girl started treatment, we had hoped the chemo would completely eradicate the invader. We had reason to be hopeful. A disease as aggressive as Abi's typically responds well to the drugs she's being given, and Dr. McGaughey suggested that there was a chance there would be no evidence of disease after she completed her sixth round of treatment. The downside is that response is often short-lived. Nonetheless, we were hopeful.
But the disease didn't respond that way. Instead of ridding her body of the disease, the chemo seemed to be holding it in check. (It wasn't decreasing in the aggregate, nor was it increasing.) After the sixth round of treatment, we made the decision to continue with the chemo until it was no longer containing the cancer, or until Abi could no longer tolerate the chemo. Why? Because the approved alternative treatments simply haven't historically had the same level of success that the regimen that Abi is on. That is, the chemo she's on is the best approved option. There are some experimental options with promise, but we thought it better to get as much mileage out of the chemo as we possibly could.
And it's continued to hold the disease in check. We had the one incident that resulted in surgery in August, but overall, the amount of disease hasn't changed a great deal over the course of the past nine months. Also, we've been fortunate that our girl has tolerated the treatment pretty well. It's not easy living in 3-week increments, but Abi is nothing if not strong.
So we've continued the treatment for twelve sessions (that's lots of Nila time), and if this week's scan results show that she's still stable, we'll continue the same process:
- Treatment this week.
- Treatment again in three weeks.
- A scan in five weeks.
- Scan results in six weeks, and reevaluate.
That's the routine. And so far, it's been a pretty good one. One that's allowed our girl to live well. To collect more moments in her off-treatment weeks than many people collect in a lifetime. Our girl is truly outliving it.
So as you're praying this week, please remember our girl and John. How awesome would another stable report be!
We'll let you know tomorrow.