So. Big day today, and not all the answers I was expecting or hoping to hear. But I’m still feeling strong and believe that, despite the challenges to come over the next few months, we’ll get through this.
So what happened today?
Well no biopsy, for starters! Aside from the relief of not having that painful anaesthetic again (hurt like hell last time!) they felt it wouldn’t actually give them much more, and because of the next update, would actually not be as straightforward as it was last time. Read on…
The next update – it’s not in my boob
So when they told me the second lesion they found on the CT scan was ‘on the edge of the radiation zone where I was treated before’, I assumed this meant in my boob. Its not. It’s actually in my lung, close to my heart. Fucker.
This doesn’t change how they’ll treat it – still either surgery and/or radiation, but seeing it on the scan and realising that a second little cell had escaped and lodged itself in my lung was a shock I wasn’t expecting, and yes, I needed a tissue! But in my usual fashion, I quickly went into processing mode, and started asking questions about what this all meant.
Put simply, it doesn’t change much in terms of treatment, it’s just a mental fucker to hear you’ve got a lesion in your lung. It’s about two cms in size so not massive, and being close to my heart means when they radiate, I’ll just need to increase the gap between there and my heart like I did before. That’s easy enough “breathe in… breathe out…”
So what’s the plan – how do we nail the Fockers?
Dastardly (in my brain) needs targeted radiation to take out his wheels and render him as useless as a pit stop without a crew.
Mutley (in my lung) could get the same, or could be removed surgically. This is what they’re discussing with the lung surgeon and is tbc.
But there’s also another option, which is to include me in a chemo trial they’re currently running. This would both reduce the Fockers and give my system another clean sweep, to take out any other potential stray cells anywhere else. It’d be 3-6 months of intensive injections (like I had before), I’d lose my hair again (no biggie, growing it back’s been fun), and the obvious potential side effects that come along with the ride (I was lucky to sidestep much of this before, but this drug is stronger and I may not be so lucky second time round, but we’ll worry about that if it happens).
I meet the eligibility criteria for the chemo trial, but they want to check if there’s any reason I should not do it, before confirming whether to include it in the plan. So jury’s out for now. But my trusty gut is telling me they’ll probably say go for it, and if they make that decision based on it helping my chances, I’ll do it. Just hit the Fockers with everything my body can take, and as Lewis Hamilton would say #stillirise. It won’t be pretty but cancer never is. I just need to focus on the endgame and the progress we can make in reducing its horsepower along the way.
The final blow – the hand
As the steroids I’ve been taking have still not kicked in, I asked her if the damage to my hand is permanent – her (typically Dutch) direct reply? I think so, yes. Ouch. Lifestyle changes then. But again, I’m not focusing on that, I’ve a bigger battle to fight first, albeit a tougher one with only one usable hand. But we’ll go at it with my one good hand and plenty of others from my friends and family! People get through worse and adapt to work with it, so I’m sure we can do the same 🙂
So what next?
The team will reconvene on Tuesday to agree a) whether to do chemo, b) the order of treatment, and c) a start date. And they’ll share this with me next week.
I’m therefore now considering whether to take a holiday before we go into battle.
If chemo is first, I’d like to go away – chemo stops me traveling, saps my energy, strips my cells, ruins my skin and generally makes me feel like shit. So getting a hit of sun, sand, the sound of the sea and relaxation could be good therapy before hell lets loose.
If we don’t do chemo, I go straight to radiation and surgery. This would reduce the physical impact of my treatment, as well as the timescales, making a holiday less important to me at this point.
The challenge is, without knowing whether we’ll do chemo, I can’t make that call, and I won’t know about chemo for sure until next week.
My heart is telling me to go – it’d only delay treatment by one more week, and the benefit I’d get from it could be more valuable to me.
The doc will call me this afternoon to see what I want to do – she said they can always call me with their plan next week, and we could start treatment when I get back. But she also said that, after their discussions on Tuesday, treatment could actually start next week.
Decisions decisions – in the grand scheme of things, I’m sitting in a cafe in Amsterdam, having just asked the hot waiter to cut up my food for me, trying to decide whether to book a holiday next week or start cancer treatment… lmao! Not your average Thursday lunchtime I guess! But since when was I ever normal?
But the sun is shining in Amsterdam and I am still smiling… hope you guys are too.
Big love peeps!