Waiting for PET scan results is like waiting for the college board to post SAT scores. I don’t think I refreshed a webpage this much since high school. The director of Cudim told my doctor that the results would be up by noon. At 12:32, the results posted. And then we discovered that we could not open them. They are DCM files that only work with certain programs. So I texted my doctor, who had access to the results, and he gave me the good news. The Deauville Score was a 1-2 (I will explain this later). However, me being me, I needed to SEE the results. I googled how to convert DCM files. One. File. At. A. Time it became clear. The chemo was definitely working.
What is a Deauville Score?
A Deauville Score is a five point scale used for Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma during the treatment process. Typically, a PET is performed and the avidity of tumor masses fall on the scale. There are all of these technical terms for what each number means, but here is a Deauville for Dummies:
- 1-2 = a negative PET (really good!)
- 3 = is still considered negative for Hodgkins. The treatment is working but slower (good)
- 4-5 = a positive PET (not so good and we need to talk harsher treatment options)
Here are my results. Sorry, they are in Spanish. But you can read on the bottom line that my Deauville Score is a 1-2 (really freaking good!)
For me, numbers don’t mean a whole lot. I like pictures. Image after lovely converted image proved to me that every moment of fatigue, every dizzy spell, every piece of hair on my bathroom floor, every day of uncontrollable gas is actually helping to heal me. It makes the poison days seem a little brighter, especially when my insides are not bright anymore. And, as my boyfriend informed me, my scans look more flaca (thin for my non-Spanish speakers)! Probably from the complete lack of alcohol, sugar, and processed food for the past two months. But thanks, babe!
Now we just nuke the cancer bastards with the rest of the Chemo. I have to finish up the last 4 rounds of ABVD (8 sessions of Chemo). Session 5 will be tomorrow (back on schedule…suck it white blood cells!). Then I will complete another PET, which I will probably have to do regularly for a while. For now, it is all good. I can breathe again. And unlike my first round of SAT scores, my Deauville Score is kicking some serious ass!