Tuesday, 13 February 2007
Cancer's Gone on Holiday
Today I found out that my cancer's taking a holiday.. it's gone away for a while!
I've had what they call a 'complete response' to chemo, and in the words of my doctor "It seems to have gone away for a while"!
I didn't see my onc today, but saw his registrar instead (lovely chap, who was happy to chat).
He made it very clear that this isn't cured, and it will come back at some point. I just have to hope it's in a few years, rather than a few months!
Where the 10cm tumour was (which I know now was in the right lower lobe of my liver), there's now a 6cm area of calcification, which is likely to be, but not necessarily, cancerous.
Also where the smaller tumour was, there's an area of calcification.
So it's not all completely clear, but it's the best news I could've hoped for, under the circumstances.. and it's certainly better than it having got worse!
But in the registrars words "It seems to be gone for now"!
I spoke to the Dr briefly, about liver surgery. He poo-pood it somewhat, saying there was no evidence it improved outcome.
Well, we'll see what the liver guy has to say about it.
I had a phone call from the liver specialists secretary today, saying the liver guy (Dr Satya Bhattacharya) would be happy to see me. But before he can, they need a referral letter from my GP (I saw my GP about this yesterday, so this should hopefully be sorted out asap). And they need me to get hold of the liver scan films, so the liver doc can look at them.
I'll be carrying on with my remaining 3 lots of chemo & herceptin.After that, I'll most likely be stopping herceptin, seeing as it didn't seem to do much on its own. And I wont have to have anymore chemo until the cancer returns.
Now, please don't get me wrong.. I don't want to put a damper on this good news. Because it really is good news. But james asked me earler, why I don't seem to be very excited about it..
And no, I'm not actually excited about it..
Maybe I can't get excited, because I know there's a good chance the liver crap could come back as soon as chemo's finished.
It hasn't got a good track record for staying away for long periods, has it?
I really am grateful for the good results, and I really do hope it stays away for a long time.
Maybe I can't get excited about it, because I don't want to set myself up for a fall, when it does come back.
Maybe I'm just trying to keep myself on an even keel, rather than extremes of highs and lows.
Maybe, as a friend suggested, I'm just being quietly, cautiously optimistic.
I feel like I need to whisper about it, rather than shout it from the rooftops, for fear the cancer will hear me, and come back to spoil my fun.
A bit like parents coming back early and spoiling your fun, when you throw a teenage houseparty!
I often still feel like I'm in a film, and this isn't really my life. Maybe that's my coping mechanism? Then every now and then, it hits me that it is really my life.
Maybe this good news will hit me in the next few days, and I'll be able to be more excited about it.
I'll be having Taxotere number 4 and Herceptin number 14, tomorrow.
In all honesty, I've been dreading it. The side-effects have been pretty bad, so far, and have completely knocked me off my feet. I fully expect to feel awful for at least one week.. quite possibly two.
But maybe it'll be a bit more bearable, now I know it's actually doing something.
Today, I caught sight of a reflection of myself, in a window. For the first time in a long time, I didn't think I looked ugly and fat.
I'm not saying I thought I looked stunning, because I'd be lying. But I felt better about how I look, than I have for quite a while now.