As someone who responded to Gemzar (gemcitabine) monotherapy as first line for Stage IV NSCLC and has been on it 16 months, I have been following Catdancer’s reportage of her husband D’s extraordinary journey with Gemzar to NED status. It gave me hope and a positive attitude that it could happen for me despite how extensive my cancer was compared to D's.
The last CT on 9/28/12 was “Stable” but mixed, with troubling comments by the radiologist. He saw “subtle lucencies” in my pelvis and sacrum, a potential precursor of lytic tumors or bone mets, and “slight” increase in size of mediastinal lymph nodes “raising suspicion for slight overall worsening of disease.”
I had asked Catdancer if D ever had just a stable or several stables on his way to NED, or was it slow but consistent shrinkage. She generously responded that he did have just stable scans, and even one that looked like progression and the onc considered stopping. She will never know what that meant to me.
Well, I just got hold of the “Findings” and “Expression” from my Jan. 10, 2013 PET/CT: Here is only the cancer related part of the Impression, sans prostate size, etc:
"1. Reduction in size in the right upper lung mass and reduction in hypermetabolic activity suggesting further improvement (SUV 4.3 on PT/CT 1/3/12, now SUV 3.2 on PT/CT 1/10/13)
2. small mediastinal lymph nodes again noted demonstrated no abnormal hypermetabolic actitivy."
I have no hypermetabolic activity anywhere, including all lymph nodes, and the primary tumor shrunk about 18% (at least according this radiologist’s measurements). I am blessed. Thanks Catdancer and D, you helped me do battle and I have at least bought more time. My first onc had me dead my March, 2012. Awaiting D’s next NED scan.