Happy: A Quest for Life After Death

Monday, February 11, 2008


Dr. Ryan says a lot of things that I either don't understand or can't hear because I often can't focus during appointments. I'm too busy trying not to throw up.

A few things come through in hi-def, however, like a line from Friday's appointment: "I'm very happy with the results of the scan."

A new CT scan shows that the tumors in Mat's liver are the same size now that they were three months ago. This is thanks to Sutent, the drug Mat is currently taking. Sutent only produces results for 15-20 percent of the people who take it, but, as Dr. Ryan likes to say, it looks like it could hit a home run for Mat.

Of course there is a qualifier: none of the drugs used to treat Mat's cancer is a cure. They work by inhibiting one or more of the pathways the tumors use to grow, but eventually the tumors find a way to work around them.

Dr. Ryan says the drug could keep the tumors from growing for perhaps a year or even longer.

(Are you thinking what I'm thinking? How is that a home run? What planet does Dr. Ryan live on, anyway? Never mind. After trying two different drug regimens in 2006 that were a complete flop, I'll take good news where I can get it!)

If/when the drug stops working, we try something else.

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to a nice, predictable year: our tenth wedding anniversary, birthdays, vacations (that aren't cancelled at the last minute to accommodate a major surgery), another summer, another school year, another Christmas.

Mat, on the other hand, thinks life is never predictable. I have to admit, he may be onto something ...