Last week’s scan was mixed good news and bad news. My feelings, needless to say (I hope needless), are complicated and a mix of happy, anger, frustration, sadness, and hope. Writing this was not easy so I decided to express myself via gifs. Because a good gif is never wrong.
Let’s go with the good news first. The radiation helped!
The team aimed at my two largest tumors. They first targeted one in my lungs, then one in my abdomen. The irradiated tumor in my lungs noticeably shrunk. That’s awesome. The other one is at least stable and might still shrink by the time I have my next scan. Radiation can take awhile to see the full effects. In addition, some of my sarcomas are stable and don’t seem to have grown. Stable with tumors, like with mental health, is a good thing. For someone with aggressive stage 4 cancer? It’s a very good thing.
The not-so-good news? Some grew and an additional sarcoma has shown up.
Yes, I’m angry about this. I’m pretty sure anger is normal though.
So, what does this all mean? Well, in the short term it means that I’m sticking with the same chemo pill until my next scan in July. We are playing with the dose to try to mitigate some of the side effects. It’s not cool to lose 48 hours or so to uncontrollable projectile nausea every 2 weeks. I did ask my doctor about going to one of my local dispensaries. He’s not opposed to the idea, but because the hospital receives federal funding, he can’t prescribe it himself without putting that funding in jeopardy. So, the workaround for a government terrified of pot due to the GOP and uninformed lobbyists is that I go to the dispensary myself and ask about local doctors with whom they work, then see one of those doctors, present my case history, and I’ll likely walk out with a prescription for medical marijuana.
No, you’re not the only one thinking this is really dumb and a waste of medical resources and my own spoons. We need to get our federal government to realize that pot is not something to be feared (especially prescription pot, i.e. doctor-supervised!) just because we have had a terrible “war on drugs” for so long. Like, wouldn’t it be better if it were my main oncologist prescribing the pot, not some random doctor I’m establishing appointments and a relationship with solely for the purpose of reducing my nausea in a way that might have fewer side effects than the next step up in anti-nausea pharmaceuticals? You’d think so.
So where does that leave me? Well, we talked about what my likely treatment options will be in July if there’s more growth. For now though, I’m just living with some hope, some sadness, a great deal of gratitude for my cat (purring alongside me while I type this), and a huge appreciation of how helpful books and television are for avoiding reality.