For those of you who may have been wondering about the results of having my pets scanned, er, my PET scan two weeks ago, here’s the deal: It’s ba-a-a-a-ck! (The cancer, that is.) I wanted to inform my family first so they wouldn’t read it here (not that any of them read my blog, as far as I know!).
Not only did I receive a phone call a few weeks ago from my radiation oncologist, Dr. Castillo (who then grounded Air Cancer Flight 102 due to turbulence), but I also received a phone call from Wonder Doc, himself, last week with my results. That’s two, count ’em!, two phone calls from physicians, folks. Unheard of, I tell you.
I asked Doc Swanson if he had drawn the short straw, because Doc Castillo had told me that he would call with the results. His reply was that he’s known me for awhile and can speak frankly with me. Which is true. Which validated the KH’s intuition about which I wrote not long ago….
Anyway, here’s the good, the bad and the ugly, not necessarily in that order (warning: not for the queasy, parts of this are gross):
The Bad: My nasty, little peri-inguinal nodes still show some growth. They didn’t cooperate with the previous chemo and still are acting out. Must be adolescents, you know how they are!
The Ugly: To further complicate matters, I have some “new tissue growth” in my abdomen: new cancer. This problem actually originated months ago with some little prickly feelings on the north-east side of my umbilicus (my belly button, in case you were reaching for your dictionary). Doc Swanson checked it out and thought it probably was the result of a couple of internal stitches from my surgery breaking loose. The pricklies went away. End of story, or so we thought. The pricklies returned with force a couple of weeks ago and started being more painful than prickly. And I now have a cute lump about the size of a smallish plum. And it’s trying to force its way up and out of my umbilicus, which is causing pain and a discharge.
Now, I’ve never had a flat belly. And I don’t look anything like Sigourney Weaver, unfortunately. And my lump isn’t nearly so large as hers was, thank goodness! But, I now call my lump “My Alien!”
Scary, huh? lol If you’ve closed your eyes, you may re-open them now; we’re done with the gross stuff. The remaining bad news is that neither radiation nor surgery is an option.
On to the Good News: I begin chemo again this coming Wednesday with a drug called Gemzar. From what I’ve been reading, Gemzar is used for an amazing variety of cancer — everything from lung cancer to cancer of the toenails, it seems. My treatments will be once a week for three weeks, then a one week break, then chemo starts again — for up to five or six months. This time, as opposed to the all-day affair, I’ll be there at the infusion suite for only about three hours each time, as there’s only one poison, er, drug involved.
The crew of Air Cancer Flight 101 have been notified and they’re readying the flight for takeoff again. If they thought they were done with me that easily, they surely were fooled! And Wonder Doc. Well, he’s just going to have to keep me on his dance card for awhile longer and keep me from that landing in the Hudson!
So, to answer the questions that my friends (and you) probably are either too embarrassed or too shy to ask:
Am I scared? Well, hell yeah. Am I worried? Somewhat, yes. But I’m not one to sit around and ruminate about things over which I have little control. The thing is, a long time ago when the Big C first made its arrival, I turned it over to a Power higher than I. My Higher Power still has control, and between that and the skilled care of Wonder Doc, there’s no need to waste my time worrying.
I’ve got two precious and adorable grandkiddies, a great daughter, a super brother and sister and an aging but outstanding Mom — as well as some super-special cousins, my closest friends Cathy and Lisa and Celeste and a multitude of other friends who ALL provide support, love, positive thoughts and prayers on a regular basis.
There’s also a lot of fight and living left in this old gal, not to mention which I have two novels to publish, a non-fiction book about cancer (for which this will provide even more info) to publish and a lot more blogging and writing to do.
So, prepare for take-off, Folks! Air Cancer 101 flies again in just five short days!