Cancer update

Well, it's Cycle 7 and I had my 2-cycle CT scan.  Things are stable, I'm told.  The lung tumor is stable, the CEA marker is stable, and next scan (after Cycle 8) will be examined more closely.  This means there's nothing new (that shows up, anyway), and nothing's growing…bone lesions look somewhat larger when they're healing, supposedly.  The clinical trial nurse didn't spend much time with me at all.  She forgot to give me my study drug refill.

It's always nerve-racking to hear the news after a scan.  If they were going on how I feel, the news wouldn't be so bright.  My voice is terribly hoarse, I've been coughing for the first time in months, it seems.  I don't sleep too well, which explains the extra dozing time in the a.m.  However, by all accounts, I'm moving around, my hip isn't bothering me too much, and I've gained 7 pounds or more over the holidays.

I wonder if I'll ever get to the point where my improvements might make them consider a curative effort?  Like radiation to the lung and hip?  This is wishful thinking I'm sure.

I awoke last night and couldn't get back to sleep.  I was plagued by sadness and the thought of death—the certainty, yet the uncertainty of the time.  It sounds ridiculous—we're all headed in that direction, I just took a different fork in the road and well, it makes me crazy.  When I wake up, I'm reminded that I'm compromised and the clock is ticking.  The gesture of taking the study drug each morning is all I need.  Do people really tell themselves they could be hit by a truck today–each morning when they arise?  Sometimes, I go into a sort of denial called forgetting—I feel good so I go about my day thinking about the future and all the things I might engage in—I dream about work, wondering if time was waived or not…  But, oh wait, I'm ill…that's why I'm home.  I don't think I can even leave the country.

Nothing makes one truly forget, but the moments when I do are bliss. 

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7 thoughts on “Cancer update

  1. well good news for today, at least. i can't imagine what this must do your psyche, particularly late at night when your consciousness is so vulnerable.
    this whole topic: thinking about death in the middle of the night is something that has been on my mind because i heard a lecture last week about it by this buddhist priest (it's on iTunes podcast somewhere, if you want i can find it). the point was that people rarely think about death unless they are faced with it. i guess it's human nature, but it's also rather sad. i, too, wake up with these odd fears that seem terrifying in the middle of the night but by daylight seem not so serious. rarely, though, are they about death.
    i can only hope that when the light of day shines down, the thoughts and worries and fears are less overwhelming…
    btw: what is the bunuelan leg exchange?

  2. Thanks for the comment. I'm very interested in that podcast, if you can manage to find its title. I feel like such a hypocrite, having been agnostic in the past. But I suppose it's also human nature to cling to other things when it serves them. My religious views tend to be more eastern and organic, which helps with the death issues, although I find occasionally going to traditional church also helps (supplication to the God of tradition seems to help more (psychologically) with the health issues). Having said that, it too, sounds a bit weird.
    I never ever thought of death before—even while rockclimbing, scuba diving, forcing ex-boyfriends off the road at high speed, with a gun—that's part of what makes us so fearless, and therefore crave the adrenalin rushes of life. This is turning into a post–
    The Bunuelan Leg Exchange is just an inside joke pertaining to an incident (ok, a "Bunuelan" incident) my best friend and I witnessed on the day I went for my PET scan (before I knew what stage cancer I had). Involved a woman at a bus stop with a wooden leg…it was hysterical in a very dark way. Anyway, so many incidents of the type that populate Bunuel's films seem to be occuring (reverberations from that original incident?), I felt compelled to change my blog title. (Not having the tilde above the "n" is really bugging me) It doesn't make sense though, unless I relate those incidents—
    btw, I love your photos of Shanghai.

  3. You're right, darkly funny encounters/circumstances. I'm a good shot, too! I'll have to wait a little bit, as it took place in the Grand Tetons, which may compromise the post you liked so much.
    I could mine that entire period, it's rich with strange stories. Vox may help me put some distance between, and humor into, memories that were 1 part beauty, 2 parts pain, anguish, and sorrow.
    One night I'll pull out the good scotch and put those stories to bed. Might make for some good forgetting 😉

  4. if you go to podasts under religion and spirituality, you will find a podcast called 21st century buddhism. it's one of the more recent ones, like from the 3rd of january or something. the title isn't about death but he brings this topic up several times in one of those podcasts. this is a good podcast, for the most part. it's interesting and thoughtful without being trite like these kinds of things can often be. though it's supposedly about meditation, i listen to it as i run on the treadmill every day….my own form of meditation!
    yeah, shanghai….i have almost decided that it's time to go back. maybe…
    yeah i am with mark: the guy and the gun (in a car, or did i misread that) should be a post. make it a comedy story hahaha.

  5. The peace we find at night surrenders to our fears while life’s
    normal detractions subsides for the few hours of self thought we are given
    and/or allowed.
    While I stare quietly at my newborn son as if his crib is in a valley and I
    stand tall on a wall guarding his existence, the thoughts of the real world
    rush in to crush my heart. Crime, disease, global warming, Hillary Clinton, and
    hate all come to mind as I know little Will would one day encounter the
    negatives that his time here has to offer under the guise of, "life."
    But in the end I rejoice in the now and what we have been given. Tomorrow will
    always be a day later, so I decided to always enjoy today. I believe this
    applies to those in the beginning of their lives as well as those thinking of
    the end. Enjoy the day.

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