Tomorrow I meet with my Oncologist. We'll discuss next steps - changing treatment or, if possible, targeted treatment with radiation or surgery.
There’s a small spot on my liver that has grown. My liver enzymes are also high - a probable side-effect from the chemo pill, and if so, may mean I can’t take it anymore. One good thing is that my bones and lungs remain stable. I found all this out last Thursday. The appointment was with an Oncologist who was filling in while my guy was on holidays. So I've had a week to come to terms with the news. But I have yet to know how I'm moving forward.
It’s impossible to explain the experience of sitting in the examination room. How one appointment changes the course of your life or sets up yet another challenge to overcome.
I could have waited to blog until I know for sure what I’m dealing with. But my brain might go bye bye for awhile after tomorrow. Plus this way I'm creating dramatic effect in my writing. You'll have to wait for the big plot reveal in the next chapter or to see how your heroine gets on in the next episode.
Yesterday, my Psychologist asked me how alarming I found this situation on a scale from 1-10. I gave it a 7.5. “Why so high?” he wondered. Not to discredit me, but because I’m feeling mostly well, and this is only one small spot. Whereas compared to last year when I had a lot of progression and my lungs were collecting fluid creating a persistent cough. Yes, that time was also high up on the scale. But each time there’s progression no matter how small it's still a cause for alarm.
Here's my analogy:
A ladder represents my life with incurable cancer. Each step on the ladder is a treatment option. I’ve already climbed five or so steps. There are only a certain number of steps to this ladder. Once I reach the top, that’s it, I’ll have to take that last step and fall off. The end.
I don’t want to take another step. Maybe I won’t have to and can do targeted therapy to the liver instead. But I have to prepare for the possibility.
Tonight I’ll try to do some nice things - watch a movie with my folks, walk my cat, bathe with a nice bath bomb, and then pop a Hydromorphone right before bed to take me far far away into dreamland.
… To be continued ...