Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Today is My Two Year Cancerversary

Cancerversary - A term that still makes me cringe.

I saw my oncologist to find out if my tumors were shrinking and I could move on to surgery. Astoundingly, the two did shrink.

And another one grew.

"Impression: Two previously described metastatic foci improved while there is a new left hepatic lobe focus worrisome for metastatis."

It was a mixed result that puzzled my doctor a great deal. He said you just don't see tumors in one area responding and not responding to treatment at the same time.

Leave it to me to be complicated.

The plan is to have another PET as soon as possible. It's tentatively scheduled for Friday. And, he's still going to set up a surgical consult with an "aggressive" San Francisco doctor. I doubt I can have resection surgery anymore (although I'm not a doctor, who knows?) but they can possibly be ablated. We have to do that before more grow, so there is a time concern. That new lesion is 1.3 cm and grew in six weeks. If I wait a few more months, my liver could be covered with them.

If the PET shows that cancer has grown anywhere else, all bets are off. We looking at pure palliative care.

My dog, too, is facing this disease. He is a greyhound named Stoli. He's been very sick for a couple of weeks and today was diagnosed with pancratic cancer, that has, ironically, spread to his liver. He was 75 pounds; he is down to 56 pounds. We are going to give him his favorite treats for a few days - then let him go. My heart is breaking.

A year ago, on my first "cancerversary" I wrote this hopeful letter to newly diagnosed women who came across my blog.

That advice still stands. I still believe it.

However, on my 2nd cancerversary, I would like to add another thought:

Fuck you, cancer.



  1. I am sorry about the jacked up news you received today and I am very sorry to hear about your dog. Some days it is F U cancer.

    Thanks for the new lingo, "Cancerversary". I may just be out of the loop because I haven't made it to my first one yet.

    Your blog has been awesome to read. Informative, inspiring, thought provoking, and funny as hell. Thanks for continuing to write when you probably want to go punch a wall and down a few vodkas.

  2. Oh Anne, I am so sorry about this cruel turn of events and the loss of your precious dog I've followed your blog since my own dx.You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. When it rains... However, please keep fighting as well as posting - your articulate and witty posts are inspiring, heartbreaking, educational and entertaining all rolled into one. Many positive thoughts and prayers being sent your way.

  4. I hope the PET scan shows that treatment is possible. I will be waiting to hear, hopefully, some positive news following the scan. You deserve to get a break, any kind of break...

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For the letter to newbies (which I hadn't read before) but also for always finding the funny, no matter what you are dealing with. And now your dog getting cancer? It ain't fair. I'm so sorry.

  6. I second your FU at the end. Well let's be complicated! Some grew and some didn't. But the new tumor was worrisome for mets? Maybe someone else should read those results. But a PET will tell me. At the beginning of treatment I had a breast MRI to see if there was anything else lurking and there was a spot designated as suspicious so I had a second MRI six months later after I finished chemo. I had a new tumor that grew during chemo - it turned out to be benign but it was definitely an unwanted blip in my life. So I am sending good thoughts and hopes for a clean PET

  7. "Fuck you,cancer" sums up my thoughts as I was reading your update. I am really sorry to hear about your dog and the confusing new results. Praying for good PET and a good plan for these liver tumors.

  8. Ann, hang in there and wait for the PET. Livers have all sorts of fatty deposits and strange things going on, and it is very odd that one would grow while others shrunk. Plus, so far you have only tried Navelbine. There are AT LEAST six or seven other drugs you can try that could easily kick a single liver met to the curb. The waiting is the hardest part, but you can get through that too. New school year, new boss, right? Lots to distract you! I am very hopeful for you.

  9. Hi, Ann. I hate mixed results, too. But I was thinking the same thing Suzanne wrote. The liver is strange. It could be just a fatty deposit. I will continue to hope for the best. As if that wasn't enough, the news about your dog really sucks. I'm am so sorry. You needed that like you need another spot on your liver. Geez. Fuck cancer and horse it rode in on...

  10. Damn. I'm so sorry. FU cancer indeed. I'm so so sorry about your dog. I've lost my share of pets in my day, and to cancer as well. You're doing the good and kind thing for him, as heartbreaking as it is.

    Sending any strength I can to you and really hoping the PET tells a better tale.

  11. Hi Sweetie--so you and the poor dog have matching cancers? ... somehow, it's just not funny, or ironic either.

    I will e-mail you separately. No suggestions or advice, just support and love. Anything you need that I can do, I will.


  12. FU Cancer ... and anything that looks like U.

    My cat was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks after I was. I remember thinking, "HOW BIZARRE!" We made her comfortable for a while and then she was gone ... when I needed her most. I share your anguish and your anger.

  13. Ann, Consider yourself hugged. I wish your dog didn't have to go through this. Dogs are the best people in the world! Plus, I am sad for all you're going through. I wish I could say or do something, anything that would help. The whole situation is crappy.

  14. Your test results are so confusing, and I hope there is a positive explanation.

    We lost two greyhounds this year to cancer- histiosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma. I'm so sorry that your greyt dog is going through this, and I'm so sorry for you and your family. It is all very, very hard!

  15. Hi, it’s nice to meet you, my name is Mary. Last evening I was busy goggling Tamoxifin when I came across your blog. My husband had to work a late night and I found myself reading your blog from beginning to end. I laughed and I cried, it was such a roller coaster ride of emotions.
    I was also diagnosed with IDC in September of 2010. Your story is so informative I wish I had found you sooner. I could have used the humor during chemo and radiation.
    I kept a journal at the beginning of my journey and after surgery and lots of phone calls, I to started a blog for my family and friends. My writing skills suck and it has been a challenge and a joy.
    You are such an inspiration to me and if it’s true that laughter is the best medicine, I want more of that prescription.
    God Bless
    FB: Mary Jane Wiggans Hutchinson

  16. Thanks everybody. I'm upset about me but right now, a lot more about the doggie. :( He is so skinny, it's awful. And, greyhounds are supposed to be thin. But, he's eating and seems to want to go for a walk....dunno, do I put him down? Is he suffering? I don't think he's in pain....horrible. :(

  17. Ann,

    I'm sorry to hear about your dog and the medical shit that has been going on with both of you. I also say F U to cancer.

  18. So sorry to hear about your doggie, Stoli (what a cool name by the way), it's SO not fair that he has to die of cancer. My dog Bronte died of bone cancer last year, and I miss that fuzzy face very much. Dogs are always there, no matter what happens. They don't judge us and they don't complain about anything. I hope your PET scan results bear good news--I agree with Suzanne, could just be something funky going on with liver tissue. Mary/Last Call for Margaritas

  19. Hi Ann, I'm so sorry about Stoli (I read your tweet). It IS the hardest thing in the world. You gave him a great life, your love and now comfort. You did well. But it hurts like hell.
    Thinking of you,
    Els from Amsterdam

  20. Aww, I'm sorry about, well, everything. My husband had his follow-up appointment on Friday and his was a mixed bag as well. Not good...but not bad. Trying something else now. Sigh. F'ing cancer is exactly RIGHT. Damn.

  21. I just came across your blog and found it be really helpful in my evaluation


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