My T9 vertebral body, which is a bone in my spine, is special. It is glowing on the PET scan, it is darkened on the MRI scan. The question seems to be not "if" it's metastatic cancer, but "what kind" of metastatic cancer is it, although Dr. O put it out there that an injury would visualize similarly (if only I were injured!!!!). She wants to biopsy it to get more information about the receptors on the cells in that area. She only trusts one person in town to do it, and they are unavailable until the end of the month, so I am to pursue this biopsy with the surgeon in Iowa City on Tuesday. Apparently you can just jam a needle into the vertebrae and take a sample that way. Fantastic.
Some good news is that the breast cancer responded beautifully to the chemotherapy. Everything that was big is now small. With the distractions of T9, we didn't even discuss the fate of the healthy right breast, although I'm sure that the existence of T9 cements the fate of the right breast (bye bye, babe). Additional good news is that metastatic disease had been my biggest fear, so now I'm free to proceed fearlessly. The bad news is that my chemotherapy regime was designed to counter metastatic disease, so the question remains why it more or less failed. The bright side of the bad news is that my brain, lungs, and liver are still clear, as cancer there would be the worst possible news. There are still treatment options that come with today's bad news, although I don't yet know what they are and they will be dependent on the biopsy results.
It's high time I started to help out my oncologist. She is working hard to make me better, but am I working hard enough? I'm a vegetarian and I'm active, but I don't eat broccoli EVERY day and I don't exercise EVERY day. Time to research and adopt an anti-cancer diet and lifestyle. It's something I can do, and it's important not to feel helpless, although reality certainly seems to be moving in that direction.