Got my baseline CT scan yesterday and went over the results with my oncologist today. Basically the effects of not being on chemo since late May has resulted in some tumor growback, as well as swollen lymph nodes. It’s hard to imagine it’s been 5 months since chemo, since over half that time was spent trying to heal from the effects of all the radiation therapy I put myself through over the summer. Unfortunately that 5-month break allowed the tumors an opportunity to grow a little.
This isn’t surprising to me anymore; I’ve come to the realization I may never get rid of this cancer. Generally the best way to be cured of cancer is to cut the cancer out of the body, and if I keep getting shut down over the possibility of being operated on, then obviously an alternate method needs to be discovered. Chemo won’t kill cancer outright, something else needs to eliminate it.
So if I’m not ever going to be operated on, then I’m looking at a chronic case which will constantly need some strength of chemo to keep the tumors at bay. And then it’s a matter of playing for time – until someone discovers a cure, or I run out of insurance to pay for chemo. I’m not being negative, I’m just seeing the reality of the situation for what it is. Of course my attitude continues to be to fight this until it’s gone, I just can’t be disappointed if it doesn’t go away on its own, which is a long shot statistically.
Part of the issue with the radiation therapy I had, was dealing with a sour stomach and the lack of appetite that goes along with it – I entered sort of a negative feedback loop with not being able to eat consistently and I dropped a bunch of weight. I didn’t feel like cooking for several weeks, Christine had to step in and make dinner while I stared numbly from a couch. Got all the way down to 180 lbs, which is a little gaunt for me. I can’t remember the last time I weighed that much – some time in high school probably. So finally my oncologist put me on some medication to stimulate my appetite and told me I should eat anything I wanted in the short term, while I get my weight up. Now, I’m a good 10 lbs heavier and hungry all the time, I need to stop taking that medication before I start going after the kids’ Halloween candy.
Having to deal with this much discomfort while I was trying to recuperate after my Theraspheres insertions sort of put me at a disconnect with myself and others; I’ve not been in the best moods and have been keeping a low profile while I’ve waited and wondered whether this pain is my new normal. I’m happy to say that it isn’t, I feel better than I have since July, and I’m mentally getting back on track. More chemo is looming – I have an infusion scheduled for the 14th – but at least I know how that affects me and how my body reacts to some of it. It’s definitely the lesser of the 2 evils for me.
Thanks to all who keep sending me positive energy, you’re propping me up here. Also many thanks to those who nourished me and my family with dinners while I was indisposed, it meant so much to not have to worry about what to cook. And the apple pies from Cassie, my mother-in-law, could revive me from a coma. Or, if I ate enough, put me into one.
Okay I need to snack again. Onwards and upwards! I’m getting up and brushing myself off, the fight still continues! I love you, thank you for still being here with me. I need to figure out a way to finish off this cancer, without being operated on…