Craziness, Scans, Results and a Clinical Trial

Last Tuesday my husband and I ventured into Boston to get my 2 month scans. The day started out quite normal at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and then…….

Mark and I went to Nuclear Medicine at DFCI so that I could get a radioactive tracer injected into my port for my bone scan. The tracer is injected, then I wait about three hours to have the bone scan.

While I wait the three hours I usually get my CT scans at DFCI. However, due to DFCI being down one machine and coming off of a long weekend (MLK Day), I was scheduled to have my CT scans at Brigham and Women’s Hospital instead, which is right next door.

My appointment wasn’t scheduled until 3:15, which meant we would have had to wait another 4 hours……without eating. So Mark and I decided to walk over to the Brigham, onto the 2nd floor of the Shapiro Building, and down two floors, to see if I could be taken earlier. We were happy that they could take us right away. It was around 10:45am.

I was given my two bottles of contrast to drink. Yuck! Even though it is mixed in Crystal Light Iced Tea, it still tastes pretty nasty. I began to drink and then we heard an unusual announcement over the loud speaker.

“There is a life threatening situation on level two (where we had passed through 20-30 minutes prior), if possible, please go to a safe place.” Shortly after, a code amber was announced. Code amber stands for disaster.

Those of us in the waiting room started to wonder what was going on, and then we were told we could not leave the area. Shortly after we were ushered out of the main waiting room and placed into the small exam rooms for our safety! We started checking Twitter and were told there was a shooter two floors above us. We received more information soon after that a doctor was shot and that the shooter shot himself. We were free to go back to the main waiting room after about 30 minutes and I had my scans soon after.

I am sad to say that Dr. Michael Davidson, a 44 year old cardiac surgeon, lost his life that day. A man who saved many lives died at the hands of a man whose mother was a patient of Dr. Davidson. She had passed away in November, and this man blamed Dr. Davidson. Anger and sadness is how I feel. May Dr. Davidson’s memory be for a blessing.

The next day, Wednesday, I visited my oncologist to discuss the scan results and a possible clinical trial.

Sweaty hands….that is all I remember as I wait for my doctor to come in and give me the scan results. Oh, and Mark taking a little snooze as we waited almost an hour before the doctor made an appearance.

As usual, Dr. M comes in with a smile, shakes our hands and then has a seat. We talk about the scans. The good news is that my bone mets appear to be stable. The not so good news is that there are 4 new lesions on my liver which means progression. Ugh!

After discussing the results of the scans, Dr. M discussed a clinical trial that I could participate in. The meds that I am on now are no longer working, and it is time to change my treatment. Dr. M has been having a hard time obtaining a certain medication because it’s not FDA approved, and because my thyroid cancer makes me ineligible for the trial with this particular medication. However, Dr M thinks the meds in this other clinical trial may help me. She was very happy that I could be accepted into this research study as the next course of action.

After some consideration, I have decided to be part of this research study, and will begin this week. The sad news is that Dr. M will no longer be my oncologist. I will be getting a new, and I hear very nice oncologist!

The meds that I will be taking consist of two oral medications. One is a chemotherapy drug, the other is a drug that damages DNA. I am always nervous when I begin a new drug, but I hope I will tolerate these medications well, and with no ill side effects. Cross your fingers!

I will keep you updated. Have a great week.


2 thoughts on “Craziness, Scans, Results and a Clinical Trial

  1. What an incredible account of your scan day. How frightening for you and for everyone else who was there that day and, of course, the loss of two lives is horribly sad. I’m sorry to hear about your progression. I’m glad you will be part of the trial. Is this why you must change oncologists? Good luck with things; don’t blame you for feeling nervous. Do keep us updated.


    • Hello Nancy! I felt like I was in a movie; a very sad and frightening one. Yes, the reason I need to change oncologist is because of the trial. I am sad, but I hear the new doctor is wonderful. Just another chapter as I navigate living with metastatic breast cancer. Be well!


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