Just got back from the liver surgeon’s consult this afternoon and got the low-down on what the future holds for me: basically, after getting a better look at the tumors in the liver with the recent MRI scan, he’s concluded that while I’ve shown great progress in the past 7 months, there’s just too many small tumors interspersed in my liver on both halves to consider operating right now. I started treatment with more tumor than liver: I now have substantially more liver than tumor. Going into surgery takes out a lot of tumors, sure – but it also takes out a LOT of healthy, functional liver tissue as well. Not to mention the substantial risk of liver failure, if they happen to take too much liver out and I can’t survive.
Other than surgery, what options are there for me? well, there’s 2 (3, really): either travel up to Sloan-Kettering in NYC to get a pump implanted within my system to deliver chemo directly to the liver, or stay here and get an IR embolization in a couple of weeks. And then probably more chemo after that.
The third option, is, of course, do nothing and see what nature has in store for me.
While I’m confident in battling this crap by myself, I also stand behind the progress I’ve made already with the help of modern medicine. And since the pump procedure done in NYC isn’t known to be totally effective, the only real option that makes sense is to get the embolization done here.
Since surgery is off the table I’ve been told I’m going to have to live with this cancer for the foreseeable future, if we can’t get it cleared up within the liver to at least a point where either half goes cancer-free and we can get rid of the rest of it via surgery. The colon is no longer an issue, as long as my symptoms don’t come back. So no colostomy bag for me — which, along with the relief of not going under the knife, is a welcome outcome.
I feel great (being off of chemo for a month will do that to you). Because of my friends and family, I’m still positive and mentally strong. While I need to get settled with the prospect of having to live with cancer for a while, I am reminded that it’s something I’ve been living with for unknown weeks before I even knew I had it. If anything, this meeting reinforced the fact that I’m on a journey here, and it’s far from over; and I need to settle in for the long haul. The cancer isn’t going anywhere but away, as it has been since I discovered I had it. And since I’m constantly being tested and scanned and checked, it’s not going to suddenly sneak up on me (again) and overtake me without my knowing.
All of this is disheartening news and at this point, I need to pull as many positives as I can out of this situation: at least he didn’t give me a number of how many more months I have left… at least the cancer isn’t anywhere else in my body and complicating things… at least I can continue to handle the meds like a rockstar… at least I have an incredible support system behind me, feeding me positive energy around the clock. I wish my body could work faster to get the tumors out quicker… but I’m doing my job, and staying on top of it. The situation might be a bit different in another year; it will be, because I want it to be.
Thanks for being here with me. Can you stay for some time longer?