Mark has been doing so much better this time around after Round 3. Round 2 was a wretched time, he was essentially in the hospital as much during that following recovery period as out. The low point for Round 3 was just nosebleeds and anaphylactic reactions to blood platelets. The reactions were dicey, to be sure, but still a cakewalk compared to all the complications from Round 2.
He still isn't eating enough, so he continues to get nutrition through his NG tube as much as his nausea will allow. But he is frequently up, he is chatty, he is witty, and his moments of grumpiness fewer. He has found the energy to rock out to Lego Rock Band most nights lately, which we are counting towards his at-home physical therapy.
Fingers crossed for, if not good news, at least no bad news, from the MRI. I don't know how well we could stand a hit to our morale right now.
So, after labs were drawn, the oncologist came into the room and partly closed the door. I think we looked calm on the outside, but my heart was in my throat. This is what we got (click it to see a larger version):
In much fewer words: The post-surgical cyst that formed after the big procedure last winter has notably diminished in size. Nothing else of significance was visible on the scan.
......Nothing else of significance was visible on the scan!
Now, to keep perspective and expectations grounded in reality, this does not mean he is cancer-free. At a purely technical level it simply means that his tumor is no longer visible to an MRI scan. It does not mean the cancer is gone, and there are no guarantees that he is or will be cured.
But, for sure, this is the most hopeful we have allowed ourselves to feel for a while. This is, after the course of treatments Mark has gone through, the best-case scenario to hope for at this point and time.
From the deepest wells of our hearts, our family thanks you all so much for your continued prayers and words of encouragement. Mark is not out of the woods yet by any stretch, these next three rounds of chemo will be very hard on him, as there is a little less recovery from each one before the next, but for the first time in a long while we have found reason to have some guarded but real hope. We hope you will continue to hold him up and pray for his spirit, to help him keep up his reMarkable Courage. God bless.