Scan Results

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Ok, so here’s the scoop.  The MRI on my brain was cancelled because the machine broke. Bummer. I was rescheduled for today, Good Friday, and have just returned home with a lot of plasters on my arms but scan not completed. They need to inject a contrast dye half way through the process to get more detail on the scan, but two nurses failed to get a cannula in my veins after seven botched attempts. Seven. Apparently I’m “a tricky patient”. Charming. Blame the veins.

Meanwhile, my CT scan results are in. These show what’s happening in my chest and abdomen. For those of you who haven’t read Sshh! Progress, which reports on my scans three months ago, it’s worth mentioning that the degree of tumour shrinkage at that point was very significant. My response to treatment was better than even my doctors expected, especially in my lymph nodes and brain.

So I wasn’t expecting anything of that scale this time around and told my husband I would be happy if my cancer is ‘stable’, as they say in the profession. Which makes me laugh. Sounds like it’s in danger of a psychotic episode or nervous breakdown.

I am very relieved to report that stable it is. No spread. No growth of tumours. In fact, further shrinkage and improvement in some areas. The primary tumour in my lung has shrunk another 6 x 7mm (yay).  Two lymph nodes have halved in size (almost normal size now) and no sign of cancer in other nodes apart from scarring (yay again). The tumour on my T6 vertebra is unchanged, but the report doesn’t mention my shoulder blade or rib which suggests nothing was visible at all (whoppa-yay).

This is all rather thrilling! In essence, I don’t yet know about my brain (which I am especially fond of and keen to know about ASAP) and still have cancer in my lungs and spine, but some tumours have disappeared and the rest are shrinking. This is epically good news.

Flying high 30 minutes after results
Flying high 30 minutes after results

I also went to see my oncologist in London this week. I normally see a consultant (radiotherapist) in Kent so hadn’t seen the one in London since November. I wanted to keep myself on his radar screen because he’s a big cheese in lung cancer and close to the medical cutting edge. I also like him very much. He is warm, ebullient, calls me ‘darling’ and doesn’t do that dry, cautious, stick-to-the-facts thing that most physicians seem to do. Instead, he gushes enthusiastically, which I love.

At first he had only read the reports and, being rigorous as well as gushing, and as keen on details as I am, he said he wanted precise measurements of the original tumours to compare to their sizes now so he could assess how much progress had really been made. It wasn’t deemed necessary to measure them at the beginning.  They were too big and blatant and undeniable.  But at this stage in the game every millimetre is a victory and a blessing so I agreed to his suggestion in the hope that we might now show a bit more enthusiasm please.

At which point I watched him load the scans on his system, compare the originals to my most recent ones and exclaim ‘wow’ seven times as he reviewed each image.

“Spectacular”, he finally concluded. “Superb.”

That was what I was waiting for! But lest I get carried away by his acclamations and forget I am going to die (see Sshh! Progress) I was quick to ask him what we do when my cancer resists the drug I’m on, which I’ve been told it invariably does.  To which he responded,

“It doesn’t have to resist, Sophie.  In some cases it doesn’t.”

“Really?!” I asked, leaning towards him as if to plant a big wet kiss on his cheek. “How many?”

“Not many,” he said, “but a few. Just a few.”

Well I’ll take that, thank you.  A door just opened, ever so slightly, and sunlight found its way in. I sat there, dappled with it, taking aim at a new target:  “Just a few.”

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  • 24th Apr 2015, 2:32 am  Reply

    Dear Eyes Wide Open Sophie,
    I LOVE your open relationship with the part of you that is behaving cancerously. I relate so much with what Anna B Sexton said. I don’t think you took the pose of an “adversarial” as you participated in that process of consciously intending your tumors to subside. Like your relationships with people, your relationship with cancer can’t NOT include your Self’s natural “vibrations” of compassion, genuine interest, wisdom & strength And ever the teacher…..I suspect you will share your magnificent discoveries with the world.

  • Sophie
    16th Apr 2015, 8:57 am  Reply

    Darling Sophie Spring is here and summer is around the corner! What wonderful news for you all. Am sorry to have missed you but will try to visit you in Kent this summer.
    Your oncologist sounds fab!
    much love

  • Sara
    12th Apr 2015, 2:41 pm  Reply

    So thrilled to hear this news! I just love your energy, determination and wit! Totally inspirational !!

  • 12th Apr 2015, 7:38 am  Reply

    The sun has indeed slipped through the door. I love the thought of the tumors gasping for survival and failing miserably. It’s very bloody alright this news if you ask me. We had Nick and Ann for lunch last weekend. Much laughter. Willing the brain results to be like the others. Love your writings and have everyone in NZ keeping up with you news. Xxxx

  • Clare
    7th Apr 2015, 2:14 pm  Reply

    I’ve just read your blog sitting in our hotel in Hong Kong. I wanted to ring you to find out before we left but thought I should wait. It is wonderful news and is further proof that all you are doing (and not doing) is working! Your whole approach is inspiring and we couldn’t be more happy to hear your news! Please send love from Hong Kong to Gabriella from Anna too! xoxo

  • Audrey
    7th Apr 2015, 1:06 pm  Reply

    What excellent news Sophie. You are totally undeniable. Sending you lots and lots of love xx

  • 6th Apr 2015, 7:04 pm  Reply

    Dear dearest Sophie,
    What utterly utterly excellent news.
    I’m loving your oncologist in London. He sounds a gem.
    Keep on keeping on girl. I look forward to your next post.
    So lovely this good news coincides with Spring, sunshine and new beginnings.
    Much much love to you and yours.
    Liz DF xxxxx

  • Alan Griffiths
    6th Apr 2015, 6:55 pm  Reply

    Fantastic news Soph wonderful, love you muchly , you complete and utter inspiration you.
    Alan xxxxxx

  • June Walker
    6th Apr 2015, 4:36 pm  Reply

    VERY inspiring. I hope I am now part of the group who recieve your words. Always sending love and acknowledgment. Your life is being lived FULLY. I am going to emulate! x

  • Anja
    6th Apr 2015, 2:16 pm  Reply

    Sophie, you are a star !!!! I am SOOOOOOO HAPPPYYYYY for you. This is wonderful Easter News. Lots of love and biggest hug Anja

  • Jan Gowling
    6th Apr 2015, 1:44 pm  Reply

    What a wonderful report Sophie!
    I’m a friend of your Mom and Dad (Puerto Escondido) and have heard about your cancer.
    What a brave and inspiring story! Your writing is uplifting and I am routing for you from sunny Mexico.
    Happy Spring!

  • Sam Deane
    6th Apr 2015, 12:44 pm  Reply

    Good news Sophie.
    You remind me that every moment in every day is so, so precious.
    Thank you for your courage and your open heart.
    Much love and deep respect
    from Samx

  • Rachel
    6th Apr 2015, 10:01 am  Reply

    YES! YES! YES! YES! Hope, spring and sunlight. Thrilling news Sophie. Sending love & healing. xx

  • 6th Apr 2015, 9:22 am  Reply

    That is really good news Sophie. I am SO pleased for you and just love the flow of your pen in the blog. Live to the full. Life for you still has a lot on offer and today in the Easter sunshine I think of you with John and Gabriella drinking Spring as everything bursts in to flower, like your joy at this good news. . Love Mary

  • Tim Healing
    6th Apr 2015, 8:33 am  Reply

    Dear Sophie,
    Excellent news indeed and a great Easter present.
    Your writings continue to inspire.
    Much love to you and the family.

  • 6th Apr 2015, 8:20 am  Reply

    I love how you throw yourself into your journey with such gusto, curiosity & passion. I have not ever been sold on ‘battling’ cancer more a sense of making friends with and finding out what this dis-ease wishes us to know on a deep level about ourselves. I for one can see you are being and doing this in mighty and magnificent ways. Here’s to more sunlight creeping in over the coming days and weeks. xxx Anna

  • Robert
    6th Apr 2015, 8:09 am  Reply

    Good on girl, hang on in there. If anyone can hit the target, you can. And in case you hadn’t realised I’m moved and excited by that news. Much love, Robert xxx

  • Gilli Stephens
    6th Apr 2015, 8:08 am  Reply

    Yeah, Sophie, I only had to look at the photo of you and know that something terrific would be in the text. This is FAB news; you have those tumours on the run! Let that sunlight pour into this Easter and let that wonderful essential you soak it up and perfect your aim. Blessings and love and courage to you. Gilli oxo

  • 6th Apr 2015, 8:03 am  Reply

    This is the best possible news ever, Soph. Am covered in goosebumps, and filled with respect.

    Spectacular, Superb Sophie. That’s you.

    With more love than you can imagine,


  • Rachel Buckler
    6th Apr 2015, 7:37 am  Reply

    Dearest Sophie, that sounds quite wonderfully uplifting. I am so glad. What a brilliant Easter present – renewal and as you say, the sunlight finding its way in. Lots of love Rachel xxxx

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