Dec 01, 2009 - 7:32 pm
Well, ladies, this isn't the news I wanted to be posting. I remember how I felt when Fran's cancer recurred. I sincerely felt so very very bad for her, and at the same time, I felt that shiver of knowing "if it could happen to her; it could happen to me." I'm so so sorry for sending that shiver up each of you. Please try not to react that way; it's been hard enough for me to see my husband's haunted face and my son crying and my granddaughter sobbing. I always thought how HARD it would be to go through cancer alone, but to witness the pain my cancer is causing my loved ones,.... I guess I'm saying that there are pluses to not dragging others through it. I didn't wear mascara to my appointment and took a bunch of tissues, prepared to cry at the news. But I didn't cry at the oncologist's. I didn't cry until my granddaughter called me sobbing. (Parents should realize that 8 year olds are NOSY and LISTEN when they are talking!) I had to go give her a hug and eat ice cream with her and reassure her that I would still be around as long as I could.
Anyway, here are the details: First the GOOD NEWS: I have no tumors on any of my organs, but I have cancer recurrance in 3 lymph nodes: 1 under my left armpit; 1 behind my stomach; & the one my DIL saw in the pelvis between 1 of my kidneys and my aorta. None are bigger than an inch. Because UPSC is often microscopic in the lymph nodes, my oncologist finds needle biopsies to be too hit-or-miss to be diagnostic, and feels confident that the sharp rise in my CA-125 and the PET-scan are enough to confirm the cancer recurrance without second-look surgery or a biopsy. (only my underarm node would even be a possibility for surgery or a needle biopsy as the others are located in the wrong places. & he said at this point "would it change the treatment decision or prognosis? NO, so why go through that?")
He offered me the option of waiting to start treatment until after the holidays, or to get started with a low dose of taxol (JUST taxol) once a week. With the lowered dosage, I don't have to take steroids except the ones given just before the infusion which will only last an hour. Because we are no longer going all-out for a cure, the goal will be to hold the cancer in check and get me back into remission (i.e. CA125 and NED CT-scan). The pattern of my life will now be repeated cycles of treatment and remission over and over, like the ladies with ovarian cancer. So I decided to start right in on it. If after 4 rounds of taxol my CA125 doesn't start dropping, I'll need to get a port and start on Doxil or cisplatin/adenomiesin (sp??), or by then I will be able to add carboplatin to my taxol. The bowel issues are unrelated to the cancer recurrance & are a side effect of the radiation, and I being set up with a nutritionist to help me deal with that.
There's a lot more, but I am exhausted with the emotion of the day. So sorry to have such crappy news. And remember, just because it happened to me does NOT mean that it's just a matter of time until it happens to you. I just wasn't lucky. ((((HUGS)))))