My oncologist cut to the chase, "It looks like there are only two lesions in your liver and no cancer anywhere else." Then he smiled a little.
I did a fist pump. "Yessssssss!"
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the crazy world of cancer. All grins and celebratory gestures because cancer has spread to only one organ.
But, you ask: what about my flank pain and the bloating?
It's still undiagnosed because it's not related to the liver. All we know is that it's not cancer.
Good enough for me.
My doctor said it was very fortuitous that I had those symptoms, because without them we never would have found these lesions until it was "too late."
And that too, my friends, is also the crazy world of cancer. I feel extremely lucky that I have an unknown chronic pain condition, because that, quite possibly, bought me years of life.
I have to give mad props to my oncologist for not blowing me off when I mentioned the pain and bloating, and for ordering the second abdominal CT even though I'd had the same test just a few months before. It would have been very easy for him to point to that previous test and say we should wait. I would have agreed.
But, he didn't. He trusted me or followed his intuition or just likes to spend insurance company money; I don't know.
What I do know?
The lab results are still not in, so he doesn't want to put me back on herceptin yet. So, this Wednesday, I start on a chemo called Navelbine. He said it was a pretty mild chemo and the main side effect would be low white counts. He also said that I wouldn't lose my hair.
Did you hear that?
I WON'T LOSE MY HAIR!!!!!
The ladies on BCO warn me that this drug is also nick-named "NavelBind" so I'll stock up on Senekot and high fiber foods and order a case of water from AquaDelight. (You should too.)
Once my labs come in, I'll go back on herceptin, hopefully next week. I have a MUGA Wednesday in anticipation.
I'll do this chemo weekly and in two months, we'll repeat my scans and see if the tumors have shrunk. If they have, then I'll go see an interventional radiologist and have radiofrequency ablation to "zap" what's left.
After that, I'm not sure what will happen. I imagine I'll be on herceptin forever, assuming it works.
I did ask about the TDM1 trial that is going on. He said if the Navelbine doesn't work than he might recommend it but not yet. I'm good with that answer.
For the next two months, I'll be thinking "shrinkage" thoughts.
Look out Kathy Rich. I'm coming for you!