Six months ago, on May 18th, I sat in Dr. H's office and he dropped the 3-6 months bomb on me.
Aaaaaaaaaand, turns out his timeline was pretty right on, as far as me not being able to live more than six months without major medical intervention.
I was in Houston last week for tests, and... this bad boy is growing like a weed. The hot spot in my back has roughly doubled in the two months between scans, and I have another spot in the front that is showed hot on last week's pet. We're not sure if that's a new tumor growing among my bowels, or if that's an indicator that the previously well-differentiated mass in/around my bowels is now progressing to de-differentiated. (As much as we all know that I do love buying myself a fancy purse for every tumor, my fingers are crossed that this isn't a new little dude. I'm hopeful that it's the mass progressing to de-diff, because that means chemo may be able to impact what is generally referred to as "the amorphous mass" on my medical reports.)
Anyhoo, the long and short of it is... It appears that my body is out to kill me again. So, I'm going back on chemo next week. (Yes, it's crappy to start chemo the week of Thanksgiving, but listen. If it'll save my life, I'll give up a pecan pie and some potatoes and gravy.)
Dr. Z gave me some options. I'll show them to you, for the medical people out there.
I'll do another post on another day that goes into more detail on the treatment plan I chose to go with (#1), but the long and short of it is that it'll be outpatient this time. Different drugs, with a different treatment plan = a different way to deliver the meds. Instead of living on the cancer floor at the hospital for a week out of every month, I'll be hooked up to an IV pole in the infusion center for about 3 hours twice a month. Just as before, the plan is two rounds of chemo then a scan to make sure it's working, then two more rounds and a scan, ad nauseum, until it stops working and then we'll go to a different chemo blend.
I've had a lot of people reach out this week, wondering what's going on and how I'm doing, because I haven't been posting as often. Well... this is what's going on. And I'm alright.
I am tired, but I'm alright. In many ways, I'm grateful for the timeline that was handed me six very short months ago, because it helped me realize, on a deeper level, how important it is to truly LIVE every day. I have had bad days, for sure, but there have been so many more good than bad. I've been able to go back to work (only part time, but it's been such a blessing to have something I can do with my time that yields measurable results), I've been able to travel and spend time with friends and family. I can't eat all of the delicious foods in the world, but I have loved the crap out being able to eat like a semi-normal human again.
I have been living and loving. Every day. For six months. I may not have written much about it, but that's because being out there, doing all of the things, took so much energy that I didn't have anything left to write with. Maybe next week, when I'm tied to a recliner in the infusion center, I'll start going through the pics in my phone and I'll catch ya'll back up. (Big. Fat. Maybe.)
In the meantime, let the record show that I made it six months. And I'm so very glad that I did.