As usual, Dr. Ryan didn't waste a second when he came into the exam room to give Mat his MRI results this week. He knows his patients have been at the edge of their seats for the last few days, and is kind enough to get out the news quickly, whether it's good or bad.
This time, it was "Hey, pretty good news. There's been some shrinkage in the tumors."
What? Pretty good news? This is the best news I've heard in more than two years.
That old standby from the '60s that sounds like profanity, 5FU, is working. Dr. Ryan earlier gave us the odds of this drug working as about one in 20. A five percent chance. No other drug -- torisel, sutent, avastin, AV-412 -- has actually shrunk the tumors. A couple of them have prevented some growth, but this drug is more ambitious.
The largest tumor, in Mat's liver, is about two centimeters smaller, and others in the lymph nodes and chest are also a bit smaller. (We don't know what the one on his ribs is doing -- his ribs are busy remodeling around the tumor, which is kind of like adding an extra bedroom made of bone.)
During the conversation with Dr. Ryan, which also covered the topics of the vampire series Twilight and travel to Bermuda, I had a distinct sensation of becoming much, much lighter. I had to check to be sure I wasn't floating up to the ceiling.
This is definitely a solid base hit, now we're hoping for a double. Heck, forget the double, we're giddy with visions of a possible extra year or more. A home run.
Why do I always feel like going to a baseball game after these appointments?