It's official, kids.
It seems that Tumor #9 (aka: JPII and/or The Possible Remnants of #6 and/or #7) has hit a growth spurt. What was 5.6 x 3.6 cm at the beginning of October is now 7 x 6.4 cm.
Which, really, all things considered, isn't all that big of a tumor for my body.
The problem with this pesky little dude isn't so much his size, as his location and his fairly rapid growth rate.
Dude is very close to my abdominal wall. (As in, I've been able to see/feel him for about three weeks now. I'd thought he was a new hernia, what with how much he pokes out when I'm standing, but the fact that I can also feel him when I'm lying down has had me a little concerned that he was a new tumor. ... Nope, not new. Just growing.) He's sitting on top of my small intestine, which means we run a risk of the tumor growing into my bowel and creating blockages if we leave him alone in there. (I know everyone loves it when I use the words "bowel" and "blockage". This fun and special cancer of mine is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to poop jokes. ... You're welcome.)
Anyway... this is not a tumor that we can continue to let grow.
So, we're gonna hit it - and the rest of my body - with some hardcore poison, in the hopes of shrinking - or at least stopping the growth of - this nasty little dude.
Chemo commences Monday, February 2nd.
The good doctor wanted to start my drip on Tuesday. As in, January 21st. That's right. In four days.
I ixnayed that plan. Fast. ... Mostly because I have a dentist appointment on Tuesday that I want to make dang good and sure I keep. (I have a friend who started chemo w/o having her teeth looked at first. Insert a sad tale of woe about a cavity that turned into an abscess because she lost her immune system and her mouth couldn't keep up with what was happening to the rest of her body. As for me and my house, we believe in learning from the experiences of others. No freaking way am I starting chemo w/o knowing that all is well with my upper right molar, thanks.)
Dr. H and I wheeled and dealed our way through the next two weeks to find a start date we could agree on (I need time to have any dental work done, obviously... oh, and I'm in a dead panic about having to deal with getting a port and passing an EKG and cleaning/organizing my pantry and getting the TV in my room online and finding a wig maker and deciding whether or not I want to cut my hair off before my first treatment, etc.) and ended up settling on Feb 2nd. (Which was, coincidentally, the very last date he was willing to extend my timeline to. Ha!)
As much as I loathe and despise the thought that it's really come to chemo (be looking forward to future posts that will detail some of the awesome side effects I have to look forward to), this is where I am.
Not one single cell in my body wants to do what I am about to do. ... But I'm alright with it. I need to know that I have done everything I can do, and this is the next thing on that list.
I am scared out of my ever-lovin' mind. ... But come 2/2/15, I am all in.
In the meanwhile, I'm so incredibly grateful that, not only did I get Christmas... but I was able to wrangle two additional weeks out of my cancer doctor before I have to hit the chemo wall.
Here's to fifteen more days of drinking all the soda and eating all the bacon that I can fit into my misshapen belly!
I'll be taking exactly no prisoners when it comes to the consumption of pork products in the next two weeks, is what I'm saying. (Viva la bacon-loving vida, peeps!) ... Let me know if anyone wants to get together for a BLT or a Cobb salad or some candied bacon. ... Or all of the above. ... I am most definitely in an "Eat, Drink and Be Merry" phase, and any and everyone I know is invited to play along.