All tests are clear
Kevin had his first post treatment tests at Children's and Abbott today--the CT Scan, PET Scan, Cardiac ECHO, and Pulmonary Function Test and labs, plus an exam by Linda Madsen from his oncology team. No results were in yet after the last test was completed in the late afternoon, so we headed home--which started as a stop and go crawl, progressed to a slow crawl, and then finally graduated to a tolerable pace as we hit Albertville--gotta love that Friday gridlock!
Linda Madsen called at 7 pm to let us know the test results. Even though it was Friday the 13th, the tests were all clear—no evidence of any tumors anywhere!!! The lungs had some white spotty areas, but the radiologist and Dr. Bendel were assured they weren't tumors--and they didn't show "hot" on the PET. They are fairly certain the lungs are still reflecting radiation changes--even thought the radiation was from 2005. Supposedly this can go on for many more years. It may cause future pulmonary problems over and above what Kevin already has, or hopefully won't wreak any more havoc--there is no way of knowing other then to just keep monitoring the situation. Kevin does have an apt. scheduled with his pulmonologist, Dr. Kuracheck, in August.
The PET Scan also showed something unusual today--"brown fat". It is a spotty film over some areas of the scan that makes it harder to read. Evidently this is something that they occasionally see but don't have any known cause for it. It is more common to see it after transplant recipients, possibly d/t the toxins involved. It is not a matter for concern, but now that Kevin is showing "brown fat", he will need a dose of Valium just prior to the dye injection before his future PET scans which clears up the film. So, even though these are atypical things, they are not alarming and certainly do not indicate the return of the dreaded "beasties"! The labs are also coming up as fast as can be expected. We were told it will be about a year before they are totally back to normal--which is par for the course for post transplant recipients.
Kevin won't need any more labs drawn now for a whole month and he won't need to repeat the tests/scans for 3 months! His energy level is still down, which is also very par for the course. Again, it will take about a year for his body to recoup. His weight was up to 127, a 12 lb gain since discharge from Abbott.
One lingering irritating symptom continues to be the nerves in his left chest area. For the longest time he didn't have any feeling at all on that whole side of his chest--couldn't feel if he was touching his skin or even pinching it. Now he is starting to have some sensation in parts of the dead area which means the nerves are starting to regenerate. But these areas are now overly sensitive to the slightest touch, making it painful if he is bumped or anything scrapes against these areas. It will be a long slow process while the nerves start coming back, and there is no way of knowing if full sensation will ever return.
On the brighter note--Josh, from Hope Kids, called Kevin a few days ago with an offer for 2 tickets to the Twins game tomorrow evening--in a box suite with catered food! Kevin has invited his good friend and fellow cancer survivor, Heidi, to go with him.
On August 4th, Kevin will be leaving for "Camp-Make-A-Dream" in Montana for a week. This will be his 3rd year to go to the camp. Each year, he comes home refreshed and with memories that will last a lifetime. Then college reentry will be right around the corner!