I had my meeting with Dr. Hsu yesterday (radiation oncologist) and not quite what I was hoping for but, deep down...what I expected. With all the prayers and good wishes that went with me it should have been different. But...it really was not a major shock...just enough to knock me on my ass.
Good news: The two large tumors (one in my lung and other in the lymph node between my heart and my aorta valve) at the end of August were shrunken in half. December 22nd scan showed them to be almost gone to non existent...just lots of scar tissue.
Bad news: The two small spots that the PET scan picked up in August (classed as too small to characterize) have grown and spread into both lungs. I am now classed as Stage 4 cancer. Verdict...one to two years for survival. Lovely. Radiation is not an option as...1. they are too small and 2. too numerous right now to target. If...down the road...one or more become "problematic" Dr. Hsu will revisit radiation.
So....no Panama Canal cruise....at least...not recommended by Dr. Hsu that I go. I guess cancer could grow and spread too fast and I do not like the thought of a Panamanian or Mexican hospital with the chance that I might not get home.
I see Dr. Keith (chemo oncologist) on the 12th to see what route we go....last ditch hope as we have until the 15th to pay for the trip. I have a few questions for him...like, why with all the chemo I had did I end up with two more small spots? Shouldn't the chemo have killed it all? I also made an appointment with a Naturopath to investigate Hyperthermic treatments. Cancer does not like heat and it seems to have worked in the case of one of the couples who are going on the cruise. She had four tumors (although they were a lot smaller than the two I had including the new ones). She did the treatments along with chemo and radiation. Three tumors are gone and the fourth shrunk 80%. You never know.
Rick is falling apart...I don't have that luxury. If I give in I am scared I will shatter into a million pieces and I won't be able to put myself back together. I am not much comfort to him right now as I am barely holding it together and trying very hard to stay numb. I know I am the stronger person and I will have to prop him up along with the kids when the going gets really tough and, I don't know if I can do it alone.
I know all the well wishes and the prayers are coming my way but, in the dark when I am alone who do I have to prop me up and carry me through the rough times? I love him dearly but, Rick is not a strong person...he will not be able to do it.
Everyone says I am strong and I can do this. Right now I am just frickin' scared. I am tired. I am sitting in my craft room looking at all the stuff here and knowing I have to go through it all and get rid of a lot of it...no way can I leave it for Rick to deal with...that is so not fair to him. I don't think doing so is negative or giving up...just realistic.
I am not getting rid of everything....just going back down to basics of why I fell in love with crafting to begin with....stamping, coloring and glittering. I have gotten so caught up with all the new dies etc. that I have become overwhelmed with tools and techniques but...not doing anything. I have a few "bucket list" projects that I want to do...also, thinking about memory boxes for the grandkids (cards for their birthdays, graduation etc.). I would like to leave pieces of me behind for them. A friend says it is creepy but, who knows.
We just got back from going into town to tell Rick's mother. She is
worried but, took the news pretty good...just wants the truth from us
and to keep her informed. For an old bird of 90+...she is pretty
strong...so is my dad!
When I got home yesterday I "googled" for a picture that I used to have in my wallet...a picture of a crane with a frog in it's mouth and the frog having both hands wrapped around the crane's neck...with the caption "Don't ever give up". I posted it on Facebook and my cousin commented that her brother had it in his room on his wall. Ted passed away from testicular cancer at too young an age...I miss him. When Carol posted that...it was like another angel tapped me on the shoulder and said, "I am with you".
I am still numb. I have not gotten to the angry part yet. I also saw another poster, "You've only got three choices in life...give up, give in or give it all you've got". Guess which one I am choosing?
To quote a little fish, "When life gets you down you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do we swim, swim?".