Sunday, January 20, 2013

Second opinions and a dog

It's been a little tough these past days. This most recent week was my week off between chemo cycles, which is a bit of a double edged sword because I appreciate the break from the drugs, but then I also feel like I'm not doing anything to kill cancer. Even though I wasn't getting these shots of Neupogen to help boost my white blood cell counts (I thought they were making me feel like crap) while I did the last week, I didn't feel all that great at all.

Even though I have this new plan, I'm still not feeling all that great about the situation because realistically, it's not looking like surgery is an option. My low tumor markers are a wonderful sign that the cancer is stabilizing, and there are no metastases, however I'm reticent to believe that this little asshole is going to pull back from the blood vessels as a result of the chemotherapy. I know I should be more optimistic, because the situation could be much worse, but it still isn't sitting well with me. Every now and then I have these bouts of frustration because even though I'm working with all these specialists, I feel like they don't know shit about what's really happening with me. There are these indicators (tumor markers, scans, etc) that they use to help guide the decision making process, but I feel like I'm at a point where there's no clear curative path, and it's really hard to process sometimes because of who I am.

I did get my blood off to CellPath, and I also sent copies of all my Stanford CT/PET scans/studies to some of the staff I'd met with previously at UCSF to get a second opinion, as well as handing off the same materials to folks at Johns Hopkins. In fact, the team at CellPath works pretty closely with oncologists at Johns Hopkins, and suggested that I come out for a one day evaluation, which would likely consist of meeting with the medical oncologists, and possibly radiologists. Next week should consist of following up with the different folks at UCSF and Johns Hopkins, and I'm welcoming the additional perspectives.

I start the fourth of five cycles of chemo this week. After the fifth cycle I'll likely do another scan to determine the activity and size of the tumor, and I'm hoping that some of the "haziness" that was reported in the last study can be attributed to inflammation from the radiation, and will no longer be present. Instead, I'd like to see some shrinkage with the tumor pulled back from my precious vascular tissues.

Oh yeah, as if we didn't have enough going on, we adopted a dog from the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society. His name is Buster, he's 13 weeks old, and is an American Bulldog.

1 comment:

Cathy Carbonaro said...

I'm really glad to see you getting different perspectives. If anything hopefully it'll make you feel like you are being more proactive and help relieve some of that anxiety.

So good to see you and super cute Buster. Fun to have him over. Would like to do it again soon.

xoxo - Cathy