I had a follow up appointment with Dr Venna at Washington Hospital Center today regarding my recent PET scan and the outcome was rather unexpected. By the end of our discussion both he and I agreed that we do not have enough information to make an objective determination as to the over status of my disease. On one hand, we have a PET scan that shows a body that has active malignancies. On the other we know that for someone like me to have malignant melanoma for more than a year and I'm still alive is strange. He admitted to me that there is a disconnect in knowing my history and seeing how alive and well I am actually doing. "You really did look great, Mr Brockey!", he said in an excited but totally professional tone.
As I've been reporting on the blog, my LDH has been slowly climbing. The last blood work now has me at a level of 440 where the upper level should be at about 250. By no means is the 440 figure alone all that worrisome, but the rising pattern indicates something going on. Now we just have to figure out what that something is. As Dr Cervantes indicated and Dr Venna confirmed, if we have tumors breaking down they too would release the same enzymes and cause the LDH marker to increase. So a rising LDH could be good, or a rising LDH could be bad. So how do we find out which it is? I'm gonna have to go back in for the diagnostic CT, it is the only way to know for sure.
I also asked Dr Venna to help me think clearly about cancer, the immune system and my current approach. All the voodoo this and green tea that aside, I asked him to consider that my simple approach at basically providing my body everything that it needs and giving it nothing that it doesn't, would it be possible for the human body to eventually correctly identify and rid itself of this cancer. I was satisfied by his answer in that he didn't discount it and further agreed that the human body does in fact have the mechanisms required for the job.
He wants me to meet with Dr Jang, who is new to Washington Hospital Center and from what I understand is another young face in this field. Dr Venna believes that I should work with him so that we can better track my progress and consider all options. I'm not totally against the meet and greet and will do so on Tuesday.