Chronicle of a Stem Cell Transplant (and on through to the other side)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cautious Optimism

First, the really good news...

The preliminary results of yesterday's PET/CT scan have come back "favorable," meaning, I have responded to the SGN-35!

I won't have all the details until my appointment on Thursday, but my wonderful trial nurse, Cathy, was kind enough to phone just hours after my scan. The PET summary stated that my SUV levels (measure of disease activity) have decreased as has the nodal involvement in my body.

How much so, we aren't yet sure as we are still waiting on the CT report; however, this early information leads us to believe that I will be able to continue on the trial and, hopefully, keep getting medieval on the Hodgkin's.


As if that weren't exciting enough, yesterday also included being detained at the U.S. border.

I should know better, but I completely forgot that I'm somewhat "radioactive" after my scans, so when we approached the border at Point Roberts, the guard came out and asked if "anyone had received medical treatment in the vehicle."

Ian thought he literally meant "in the vehicle" and promptly said no.

With a raised eyebrow the guard again asked if we were "indeed sure that no one in the vehicle had received medical care."

Yes, we now declared emphatically, but by this time he was already flagging our vehicle to be inspected.

To make yet another long story short, after going inside the customs office, I proceeded to continuously set off the security detector. An automated voice kept warning:

Gamma alert! Gamma alert!

Then various guards kept trying to "read me" with a hand-held detector but, apparently, "Lou" hadn't charged the first one, so it took about three goes before they realized they needed another one.

When "Bob" initially pointed it at me, I had the wherewithal to ask why exactly he was aiming what appeared to be a taser my way. He assured me it was harmless and that they just needed to confirm the reading with "Washington" before they let me go.

Um, ok.

In the meantime, you guessed it...

Gamma alert! Gamma alert!

At one point, they considered putting me in an empty office with the door closed to make the automated voice shut-up, but once it was ascertained that I wasn't a threat to homeland security, the guards let me sit in the regular waiting area.

An hour and a half later, "Washington" finally gave the call and we were free to go. So lucky Ian got to hop back in the Jeep with Nuclear Nellie and off we went.

Good grief, you can probably see me from Mars, but if PET scan number twelve's a charm, I'll take it.