Yeah. So that wasn’t the joyful, “you’re free, it was all weird non-stuff” meeting we might have wished.
Turns out I can’t breathe all that well because my lungs are operating at, oh, probably about 50% capacity. The rest seems to be cancer. I would say that this is a situation where “half-empty” is the optimist’s choice.
Also, I now have numerous spots of uptake on my bones, including several in my ribs, and several vertebrae. Also my pelvis, both sides. Although the pelvis could be related to riding injuries.
Also, I seem to have a mass (felt by my acupuncturist the other day, although not by me) on my left ovary.
The good things are that my organs are functioning well, I have no pain (abdominal, lung, or bone, or really anywhere else although those are the biggies), and, as I think I said earlier, I look fabulous. Also, my neurological tests—“Walk on your toes, walk on your heels, follow my fingers with your eyes, push against my pressure,” etc etc, were all normal.
However, I do still need to get a brain MRI and see the state of my brain. It feels just normally loopy right now, but there are things I don’t know.
The brain MRI is important because if there’s been metastasis there as well, my treatment protocol will be different, and will include—get this—brain surgery. Yes, the gamma knife, a little radiation tool, would be the thing, operated by none other than Jason Rockhill, MD PhD, the son of my dear friends K&A in Idaho with the horses and the beautiful land.
As it is, if the brain MRI is normal, Dr Specht has recommended a rehash of what I had in 2001, the summer Ian and I got married. I’ll see if I can remember it all: Herceptin, Zoladex, Femara, Taxol, Navelbine, Pamidronate, Neupogen, Epogen. I think that’s it. I will lose all my hair again. And I mean all. I will have a port reinstalled next week, and start treatments the same day, pending the MRI. I am going to go back to several months of a weekly tie to an infusion room. And I don’t mean tea.
What is my prognosis now? Well, if I chose to do nothing, I would maybe be around until the end of the summer. Dr. Specht was pretty sure that, if I were 20 years older, I already wouldn’t be around, considering the spread of the disease. But I am young, and I am healthy. Also, if these chemicals don’t work, there are others to try. We are starting with these because it’s been seven years since my body was exposed to most of them and they worked so well, and so quickly, the last time. We are hoping for a repeat performance. Dr Specht will probably recommend Herceptin for the rest of my life . . . but that’s going to be a long time, and I’m not really prepared to deal with the idea of that right now.
How is this the moderate choice? I don’t know, really. I do intend to keep seeing the people I see, and keep up my arsenal of whole body health practitioners. But I also recognize that there are valuable contributions an oncologist can make to my health. I read once of a woman, an MD and spiritual healer, who was asked “How do you feel about medications, when they’re so unnatural?” and she said “God was in the lab when the researcher created those medications. They are as much a part of God as anything else in nature.”
And so, I am going to incorporate all parts of the Universe into my whole-body care. Starting now.