Yesterday was just an absolutely emotionally exhausting day.
I did not realize how anxious both Corey & I were until we were driving to the Doctors office and I swear neither one of us was breathing except in occasional gasps. The Cancer Clinic is in a new space that I have been watching be built in the same building as my dermatologist. Wasn’t really planning on seeing the inside, but there you go. It is a nice comfortable office.
The Doctor came into the room with one attitude and within 20 minutes had a different attitude and by minute 50 had completely changed his plans for my care. That’s a good doctor! I think because he had read my rather extensive medical file he walked into the room expecting to find someone old and defeated and sickly. I am none of those things. So this is where we are at : (yay! A good reason for a bulleted list)
- 1. I have two tumors in one lobe of my right lung. They are both relatively small, but with ugly margins.
- 2. The doctor and I both agree that the spot on my left lung is not cancer. It is some sort of injury/nodule thing that’s been there for two years and never healed. Either way it was such a small blip on the PET scan that they couldn’t even give it a numerical rating.
- 3. I will be having chemo. Three drugs instead of two, including the scary Avastin.
- 4. We will delay the chemo start by two weeks while everyone goes searching for available applicable trials. (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov) because I am an excellent candidate for a trial and that will give me the best chance. We are specifically looking for one that involves immunity research but will take what we can get.
- 5. After a trial or lack of trial we will do the chemo round (unless of course the trial qualifies as chemo)
- 6. After the chemo round if any tumor remains I will be an excellent candidate for a local procedure as well. So the tumors will either be burned, cut or ablated out. This was the change in treatment from the 1st minute of the appointment to the end. For most people with metastatic cancer that has spread to the lung the goal is to keep the tumors from growing too fast, to find the new tumors that are sure to pop up quickly and to extend life as long as possible. Our goal is remission.*
- 7. I have excellent taste in the Doctors that I have chosen to put my faith in and in the ones I kicked to the curb.
- 8. My breathing difficulties are not from the cancer. Because of the size and placement (I am very lucky) I should have very little pain or side effects from the actual cancer. I will make an appointment today to talk to my Family Doctor about emphysema and kidney function.
So there you go. You know as much as I know! I am, as always, optimistic and hopeful about the future but pretty sure it’s going to be a rough fall & winter!
*The only reason this happened is because of my lifestyle and how hard I have worked to get strong and healthy and do the right things to make my body inhospitable to cancer cells. Do not under-estimate your own impact on your life and your long term care. Maybe none of this stuff will work and a year from now I’ll be talking about palliative care but you, me and my family will know that I did everything in my power to be stronger than my cancer.