I’ve seen a lot of CT scans during residency, but it’s different when it’s a picture of yourself. Pictured above is one of the most wonderful CT scans I have ever seen in my life. The scan on the right was taken back in January before I started my treatment and the scan on the left is today, after about three months of being on alectinib, the oral targeted therapy. In the red circle is the tumor before and after. As you can see, it has all but disappeared (almost like magic)! The advances in lung cancer treatment over the past few years is truly amazing; it’s crazy to think that Alectinib was FDA approved in November of last year, which was just a month before my diagnosis.
That wasn’t the only good news that came out of today’s appointment. As I discussed in my post My Legs Got #swole, I’ve had to inject myself with Lovenox, a blood thinner, for the past 3 months to prevent blood clots. I have a new found appreciation for anyone who has to inject themselves. My abdomen was starting to run out of real estate, but now I have switched to Eliquis, a pill-based blood thinner. No more shots!
When this journey began, I told myself there was no way I was going to go back to residency. It made no sense to spend long hours away from my family to finish my training. This time on medical leave has changed my perspective. As much as I’ve loved spending the past 3 months as a stay-at-home dad watching Avery grow, the time off has made me realize how much I truly love oral and maxillofacial surgery. I’ve spent over a decade of hard work for this opportunity and nothing is going to stop me now. You can find me back at VCU medical center starting next week.