Mar 05, 2013 - 5:04 am
Thanks again to Maureen for 'checking up' on me and to other for kind words.
My situation is not great -- last few scans have shown disease progression -- and I am running out of options for treatment. I will be having a biopsy tomorrow to harvest some malignant tissue and test whether I might be a good candidate for Temozolomide (TMZ). This is a drug which has been used for many years for brain cancer but is recently being trialled -- with some success (but v. small sample sizes) with "3rd line" colorectal cancer patients. That's me: 3rd line -- when all the traditional chemo treatments have already been tried. Would be very interested to hear if anyone else has tried or heard much about this drug.
One thing I love about this board is all the positive thoughts and wishes. But, sometimes "keep fighting" or "don't give up" are not really appropriate. I have not given up -- but I also feel I am at a different section of my journey. I am turning my attention to matters concerning death and dying -- and living the later part of one's life with fun and joy -- and how to leave with grace and dignity (and minimum pain!). I'm actually feeling pretty great these days: still walking (more slowly!), going out with friends (but often the first to leave), shopping (one hour max), and travelling (no long distance trips). I've just recently gone on sick leave -- not an easy decision for me -- but I want to have more time to do the things I want to do rather than have to do. I'm certainly not at death's door yet -- but I'm starting to prepare. I've read a couple of books: On Death and Dying (old, classic) and also Dying Well by Ira Byock (especially on hospice), which I thought was very good. I'd appreciate it if anyone has any other books to recommend. I'm seeing a therapist, which I'm finding very helpful.
I'm on quite a lot of pain meds -- for bone mets. But, so far they haven't made me too dopey during the day. I'm still able to drive my car, which is good (it's going to be hard when I have to give that up. But, I live in a place with good public transport including cheap taxis so not too terrible).
I have no regrets -- I was diagnosed Stage III rectal cancer about 10.5 years ago -- when Stage III meant 5% chance of surviving 5 years. So I feel I've beat the odds many times over! And I've enjoyed every second of it. I know I write about my sons a lot -- 10 and 12 when I was diagnosed and 20 and 22 now. They have been my beacon and made it all worthwhile -- My eldest graduates college this summer and I hope to make it there -- that is my beacon at the moment.