We are home from Rochester and couldn't be happier about our meeting with Dr. Korones. The official report from the radiologist said Michael's tumor is "stable" but Dr. Korones thinks that the tumor shrank again. The radiologist compares each MRI to the previous one (ie. October to July, July to April, etc) and Dr. Korones is comparing each new MRI to the one done at the start of chemo (ie. October to January, July to January, etc).
When you look at January's MRI the tumor is about 26mm across and in yesterday's MRI, the tumor is about 18mm. Dr. Korones thinks that the difference in 3 months isn't significant enough for the radiologist to classify it as anything but stable but over the whole nine months, the difference is noticeable (even to lay people like Jeff and me). He is going to ask the radiologist to compare the most recent MRI to January's and see if he agrees. From what Jeff and I could see on the computer images, we don't see how he could not.
I asked Dr. Korones if the tumor shrinking was better for Michael in the long run and he said not necessarily. He said that statistically the prognosis is the same in either case (stable compared to shrinking) but that intuitively it just makes you feel better and is definitive proof that chemo is working. We'll still take the good news. Also, Dr. Korones was impressed with how well Michael is doing and thinks he looks great.
So for now we will continue with the chemo protocol and head back to Rochester on January 21st for the next MRI. Obviously everyone's positive thoughts and prayers are working so please keep it up! JoAnne