Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click…
I once used the metaphor that living with cancer is like a roller coaster, up, down, up, down, spin spin spin, up, down, but I’ve never been on a roller coaster that has come off its tracks. Wait a minute I was once, but fortunately a group of highly trained minimum wage carnies ran out and wiggled the train and shoved us along and into the station before we were rear-ended by the next train. Hmm… I obeyed the rules. I kept my hands and feet in the car at all times. I kept my seat belt on and remained seated. Why then didn’t the ride do as it was supposed to?
The ride up the first hill is full of apprehension and what if’s. The decent down the other side is fast and furious and the ride blurs by. Before you know it you’re back at the station adjusting your clothes, searching for your belongings, looking for a bathroom, and wondering what the heck just happened. Sounds a lot like 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009,and 2008.
If you’ve been reading this blog you know that no news or sparse new is usually good news. Unfortunately I don’t have much good news today.
I expect that anybody that has dealt with or is dealing with cancer knows too well how quickly the ups can turn down and the downs can turn up. Yesterday I received the results of Lisa’s scans from last Wednesday and it seems we've just jumped the track.
Lisa’s previous set of scans were October 31. Her January 23, set of scans last week indicate that the disease has progressed slightly in her head. New disease is evident on the T5 vertebrae in her spine, and a lot more disease is evident in the bone marrow biopsy that was recently taken. All bad. If it is possible to spin this in a good way I would like to think that when Lisa was experiencing her worst pain late in November, right around Thanksgiving you may recall, that that is when the disease was more widely spread and since then her body has fought back. After all it is since that time that she has been doing so well. Even as recent as last week, this week and today, Lisa is up and getting ready for school and wanting to stay longer and with more vigor than I’ve seen her with in a long time.
I should also point out that, as I understand it, chemotherapy drugs have a limited effect on disease in the brain or in the nervous system. Treating disease in the head or spine would normally be done with radiation therapy but Lisa has already received the maximum amount in her head and spine that she can stand without risking over radiating her so that isn’t a viable option at this point.
It’s confounding to say the least but today I am thankful that Lisa is comfortable, energetic, outwardly pain free and in spite of the scans, thriving in the moment. Lisa’s oncologist can’t explain why she is outwardly doing so well since November. It’s interesting that Lisa’s “good time” began after Bridget’s novena and intentions were made on Lisa’s behalf with the Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Saint-Hyacinthe and a portion of Lisa’s blog was touched to the tomb of the Venerable Elizabeth Bergeron. Regardless of the reason, I am thankful.
The plan is to continue with the current regimen of chemo and palliative care. We are waiting on the results of genetic tests that Lisa participated in in December and are considering any alternative treatments that she is eligible for. Please send her your best my fellow carnies, let's get her back on track.