My oncologist reached out to me and asked that I have imaging done sooner rather than later so we could see where I was as I started these new rounds of chemo. She would have requested it from the start but she has been out giving birth to a beautiful baby boy (we got to see pictures).
She and the baby are doing great and she is transitioning back into the workplace. Julie and I are so happy that in this time of personal issues with cancer and global issues with Corvid-19 that new healthy life can still blossom.
We took our trip to the Portland VA on Wednesday and had imaging done. We stayed at the Alladin for the night and the afternoon and evening were both boring and anxious for both of us as we were stuck inside and waiting for the results.
The next morning we met with Dr. Andreason to go over the imaging. First the good; actually, kind of great news.
- All tumors in my liver have either shrank below the level of imaging resolution or disappeared completely.
- All the tumors we were monitoring in my lungs shrank, one by about 50%.
The doctor was very happy with this result and she even offered a chemo vacation for a couple of months (to the next imaging) if we wanted.
The not so good news
- Something has popped up outside of my rectal wall near where the cancer originated.
She was not sure of the nature of this new development and will be taking my case to the tumor board next Wednesday. She will call me with their findings.
What does this mean worst case: cancer has returned to invade my rectal area. Because of the fantastic work by Dr. Lu in preserving my rectum (the original site of the cancer was so close to my rectum he was concerned he might not be able to remove the tumor with margins and be able to leave my anus muscle intact) may have left that area impossible to do this again. Because of this, I would probably have to have a permanent ostomy.
On the one hand, this is not the desired thing. The last ostomy ( beginning about here and ending about here ) was a learning curve and has its own set of issues when dealing with the care and feeding of it. On the other, I have done this and had it well handled, however inconvenient it is. If I have a choice of living 20 more years with an ostomy or 5 more years without it’s a no brainer.
Julie and I are discussing back and forth about the chemo break. No decisions will be made until after we talk with Dr. Andreason about the tumor board’s results.
And finally, to sandwich this not so good news with a final bit of goodness, our furry kids had a wonderful slumber party with David and Tambri while we were gone.
PS If we do the break I am seriously considering going full carnivore because of the research I have been doing online. Not so much to cure cancer, but I have run across lots of anecdotal evidence of this diet helping immensely with chemo side effects. If I can reduce my time out of commission from the normal 10 days it would make the chemo much more tolerable. I would probably only do this if we take a break because for the first week or two there may be side effects just associated with the transition to carnivore.
PPS I will be shaving (buzzing) my head after I am off the pump. Getting pretty thin up top.