Sunday, July 12, 2009

PET Scan Results

We got a Picture of Kevin and I. Finally.
Well, My PET scan results came back Friday and I learned a few things.
First, that my mind is a powerful thing.

Second, that the hormone therapy I am on, Femara, can cause pain especially in the bones

Third, that I am not supposed to die soon, like I have been thinking in the back of my head where that evil little part of my brain lives
On Friday my doctor called me and I frantically dropped my sister's call to switch over and get the news before the weekend. I first ask her the overall impression of my scan before we get into specifics. That way, I can pay attention to her details before I'm trying to figure out if the cancer has spread like wildfire through my body as she talks about one detail at a time. All in all she said she was pleased with the results. As the weight of the WORLD seemed to slip off my shoulders, I asked for the details.
I had just started feeling some painful spots on my spine I was very concerned about. Every time I have a scan I start aching all over my body pinpointing where possible new tumors could have grown. I do have a couple active spots on my spine(not masses, but just where there is possible cancer activity), but we have known about those for a while and they never had pain. Like I said, there is no hiding from PET scans. They show where tumors could form before it even happens. Anyway the point is that there were no NEW spots on my spine and the old ones are actually doing less than they were before which is great. The glucose uptake is half what it was the last time I had a PET scan. There was absolutely no activity on these new sights of pain on my spine I have been noticing.

My liver had developed new spots a few months ago at my last imaging. We don't really know when these appeared because they were found on an ultrasound and not CT scan which might have missed them a few months before that. (did they appear before or after my last CT scan we will always wonder) The hormone therapy can sometimes cause growth first and then actually start working, so those new spots could have been a result of starting hormone therapy. Anyway, those spots were still there but they were less active too. Once again the large (original) liver masses have shrunk and decreased in activity significantly.

But this good news has to come with a drawback. There is one spot on the right side of my liver that is very active. I don't know why everything else can be less active and smaller except one mass. My doctor said you can sometimes get a mixed response from treatment. Of course the next night of sleep, when I usually feel and focus on all of my pains, I didn't notice the spine pain anymore, but right side of my abdomen hurt right where my liver is. The mind is a VERY powerful thing and mine seems to have a tight grasp on me lately.

I know a lot of the pain is in my head. I am ALWAYS focusing on it at night when I lay there trying to fall asleep.
Femara (my hormone therapy that gets rid of estrogen in my body) causes bone pain. Zomeda to help my bones grow also causes bone pain. It's nice to know this so I don't always have to think "TUMOR!!" when I have a pain in my bones. I try to tell myself this all the time, but it's hard when you are having aches all the time.

All in all I am happy with my PET scan results. I really slacked on the whole health regimen for a while when my grandpa was in the hospital and everything. I am getting back on track now. Back to the juicing, sprouts, enemas, supplements, sauna and exercising and all all the other stuff. The physical stuff is easy. What I really need to start focusing on is my mental health. Kevin has told me I have been pretty negative lately (I think I've improved since I got my results). I've been worried about my health a lot lately with really bad expectations. That negative thinking goes against everything I try to focus on mentally. It's hard to change though. Fear is a powerful emotion. I'm ready to stop living in fear and focus on what I can control. What am I doing worrying??? Accomplishes nothing and makes life suck while I'm doing it. Someone needs to slap me in the face and say snap out of it. I need to get a grip on my mind and release the grip it has on me. Good test results can help with that so I will start from there.

Here's to more stability in my life. Thank you a for listening. Another PET scan, and yet again some results I am happy with.


  1. Shannon

    First of all I am so sorry no one told you that Femara was going to cause bone pain. Oh baby I spent the first year convinced my breast cancer had morphed to bone cancer. I lievd on advil for I don't know how long and then it just started to fade away.

    As for your brain I can't help you. It's been over three years since my diagnosis and I still don't sleep well. I did find a therapist for a while after treatment was over and that's when I started blogging. The combination of the two has been remarkably good for me. That and effexor for hot flashes and xanax for anxiety and we're good to go. LOL!

    Hang in there and know you're not the only one going through it. If you haven't read it you'd probably like Everything Changes by Kairol Rosenthal. It's all about being diagnosed with cancer in your 20's and 30's.

  2. Hi Shannon,

    Overall, it sounds like great news! Keep reminding yourself that worrying never causes a better outcome and just detracts from the moment. It's easier said than done but a great thing for everyone to try to do.

    We hope to see you and Kevin soon!

    David & Adrienne

  3. HI Shannon! I've been thinking about you a lot this past week! I was just up at TXO for a follow-up with Dr. Patt. I'm now 2 years free of cancer. Hard to believe on the one hand that it has already been 2 years and on the other hand that it has ONLY been 2 years. ;o)

    REALLY happy to hear about your over-all good PET scan results! I think about you a lot and beam happy healthy thoughts northbound to you. Tell those negative voices in your head to shut the eff up!

    Big Pink Ribbon Cowgirl Smooches!
    ~ Sperry

  4. Hi Shannon-
    I wanted to ask you a question but couldn't find any other place to do it but in your comments section...
    A few friends and I were discussing safer personal products and got on the topic of deoderant. We're all looking for safer deoderant that actually works!! Several have tried Tom's and the crystal stick but claim they don't work. (I even had a friend who couldn't find anything so she makes her own!). I immediately thought of you and wondered what you'd recommend. Can you comment on safer personal products like deoderant, shampoo, face lotion, etc, that actually work? Thanks so much!!

    Wishing you all the best!

  5. Hey all,

    Thanks for the comments. Thanks for making me feel normal for having all this bone pain from Femara. Think they all feel a little better not that the PET scans don't say bone tumors are growing in my body. Sperry, it was nice hearing form you and congrats on your 2 years healthy!!!

    God do I wish I could help you. It's the most common request (do you know of a deoderant that is natural and actually WORKS??) Honestly, I don't. I use the crystal stick all the time. I like it the best for keeping me from being smelly. There are times though when I break down and sneak out a few swipes of the Secret I have stashed for days when I don't want to be sweaty. Man, that aluminum really stops the sweat. So, I'm not much help in that department. I'm always on the lookout and if I EVER find a natural (aluminum free) deoderant that stops sweating too and works I will make a HUGE announcement to the WORLD!!!

    : ) Shannon

  6. Hi Shannon,
    It's me Bonnie from Austin. I have been on your blog to check in on you. I've been speaking to Karen Webber [do you know her?} and told her about your site and what you are doing health wise. She wants to read all about you. I don't have your site address to send her. Please send me the link and I'll pass it on. Maybe I'm stupid and don't see it.I always pass over things and never see them. I'm happy you doing well. They had a newspaper article and video about what I do. Google Bonnie Friedman austin Texas Wigs and you'll see what was done. I even made it in the Russian web site. But that's not there.
    Barbara from BCRC told someone from the Statesman about me, that's how it got started. I made the front page, the front page of Metro and inside Meyro 1/2 page. It sure surprized me. It must have been a slow day!
    BOn Knee

  7. Sorry forgot to give you my email:

  8. Hi Shannon
    Glad u are still hanging tough in this strange and wild ride of breast cancer. I was diagnosed in March with stage 3. Question: my doctors state that Tamoxifen is the only hormonal med that a premenopausal female can take. I am 35. Did ur doctor give u a reason why they felt Femara would work? Your cousin on the mom2mom boards gave me your blog site. She is really proud of u!

  9. Dear Shannon, my fiance finished Radiation and Chemo for a half of year. Then he had CAT scan with blessed result (good), and he got PET scan 2 days ago. The PET scan's results comes "negative but having some activities". I am worried, if it is negative, why having "some activities"? Does it mean he still has cancer, or what else, does he have to re-do chemo? Look forward to hearing your opinion and God bless.



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