|January 15 xray|
Because she'd heard I had talked to the social worker, and my GP, and the nurse, about a cough, I am much healthier than Dr. Nelson expected. She also expected the nodules to have grown more than they had. She said that, by looking so healthy, etc., I made her day! And yet the same info. seriously unmade mine. Just goes to show, it all depends on what you were expecting. I was expecting for the nodules to have stayed the same, or to have grown slightly. I was right about that (maybe, the CT scan will show for sure), but it never occurred to me that there would be new ones. A few hours after we left her office, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Enter Death, again, stage right.
Did I really think I was going to be cured, or healed? Well. People tell me it happens all the time. I seem like a reasonable candidate. But damnit, why didn't I remember that almost all the time, that's not the way it ends? That's why odds are odds. Really it's like saying, Hey, You'll win the lottery, happens all the time!
At first she was concerned about my weight loss. Well, I eat healthy food and exercise, and I wasn't doing that as much before, so why not? She said sometimes patients lose their appetite, but sometimes they eat a normal amount and lose weight anyway, 'cuz their bodies can't seem to do anything with the food. Maybe cancer is why I've lost weight. Why I'm tired. Why I cough. Why my mouth is dry and my teeth are changing. Or not. No one knows. I'm not sure why, but today seems much more than before like waiting to die.
|April Fools Day xray. Note the new nodule|
on the lower left, outer side. There was another new one,
don't remember where it was. New ones not
easy to see in the photo.
In the studies, I think it was people with ovarian cancer who took Avastin lived 3 months longer than those without. Which we thought didn't sound all that great! She explained, that 3 months is the mean for the group. So some lived longer than that, some less. Tenuous grasp of statistics here. She guessed chemo had a 15-30% chance of working, meaning that the cancer decreases in size by a certain percentage AKA 'there is response'. Come to think of it, I don't know if this was an example or a guess for me in particular. Alas.
Do I want to do chemotherapy? If only I could find out exactly why my tumors are growing slowly and do more of that. Do I want to do chemotherapy but only up to the point where the botheration (love this word, possibly coined by Danamaya) ceases to be worth it, then stop? She said most, if not all, of her patients want to be on chemotherapy all the time, that my wanting to just relax, etc., and not get any treatment makes me "one of a kind." Really? More comfortable on chemotherapy? Who are these people? Anyway. I don't know what to do (other than go buy a mint IT'S-IT from the corner store.)
She gave me a bunch of printouts from cancercare.org. I said I'd read about the various chemos and after the scan, think about what I want to do.
Wednesday I will pick up Paramananda from the airport. Thursday I will get a PET/CT scan. Friday at 4pm, I will find out the results on the phone, then go to Paramananda's retreat.
I'm glad I didn't think to ask how long she'd guess I have to live. I'm not going to ask that anymore. No one knows.
Even Dr. Nelson says cancer is a roller coaster, for everyone.