May 2012 - Denise Neish


Posted by | PET scans, Updates | No Comments


Written May 10, 2012 7:05pm

So, it’s official, my doctor (the radiation oncologist, who has been the most optimistic this whole time) has said that I am in a remission!  We went over the PET scan results today, and he said that my scan was combed over very carefully, and they cannot find any evidence of cancer anywhere.  He said that I could say that I am in a remission at this point.  It was great to get the official results today and to confirm that all this treatment has been effective for me.

He said that my case is very unique, and my other doctor has said that as well.  It is very surprising to them that I have no evidence of disease after what they saw on my PET scan last year at about this time.
We compared the two PET scans, (my first one and this last one) on a big monitor in his office.  I am just so glad that I don’t have to go back to last year and start over!!!
Even though I have been getting positive feedback from these scans and have felt that treatment has worked well for me, it is taking a while for it to sink in that I may be completely cured.  I think that is because I have been told so many times that that can’t happen for me.  Also, everything that I have looked up has usually confirmed that notion.  But now this doctor said that if I still have clean PET scans for the next four years that I will be considered “cured”.
Although I will still get a PET scan every year at that point for the rest of my life because I will still be at a greater risk of it returning with my history now.  My next scan will be in November.


Posted by | Surgery, Updates | No Comments


Written May 2, 2012 10:37pm

I had my final reconstructive surgery about two weeks ago.  Everything went just fine and I am recovering well.  My body is tired, but I am slowly getting back into running and walking.

Last Friday I went up to Huntsman for another echocardiogram, and it showed that my ejection fractions was at about 54-55% (it’s  not super exact).  This was good enough for me to get back on Herceptin, although my doctor was hesitant for me to take more Herceptin.  She feels that my heart has sustained SOME permanent damage from all the chemo and from Herceptin, and that I should probably just be done with it.
The full course is usually for a year, and I am a few months shy of that, but many doctors feel that a full year is not needed to receive the full benefits from Herceptin.  We made an agreement that I would receive Herceptin 4 more times.  The first time was last Friday, and I will have three more treatments three weeks apart.  After that I will be done.  I will also get another echo on my heart before the third treatment to make sure my heart is holding up okay for the last two treatments.
I don’t like the idea of doing something that is causing some damage to my heart, but I know it is a very effective drug for me, and cancer is the biggest danger for me at this point, so I will continue with Herceptin a little while longer.  This has been something we (Branden, Dr. “B”, my cardiologist, and I) have given a lot of thought to.
It’s scary to me, because every time I take Herceptin I actually feel pains in my heart over the next week or two, and that kind of freaks me out.  I feel that my heart is not as strong as it was before I started all of this, and I just want to be the same as I was before all of this.  But I am just trying to finish this battle with cancer once and for all.  I don’t want it to come back, and so I am doing everything I can.
Monday I will have my PET scan.  I will get the results 2 or 3 days later.