My cancer is back.I'm just going to come right out and say it. The cancer is back. It is back and I'm going to have a major butt kicker of a treatment plan that is starting June 2nd. I'm disappointed. So so disappointed. I'm also hopeful. That is the short version. If you're into medical details you can keep reading. If not, you've got the gist. I have cancer. Again. But OH! OH!! I'm not pregnant this time so there's that. Since I'm not pregnant I get all kinds of red carpet luxuries like general anesthesia for surgery.
Remission is a history report, not a promise.
Unfortunately, that doesn't change that remission isn't a promise of days ahead. It's really just a history report of healthy days lived. When they scan me during remission checks the truth is that they can't guarantee the next three months, they can really only say: "The last 3 months seemed fine, and hopefully the next 3 should be ok too."
How did you know the cancer was back?
At my appointment following the CT scan I was told they saw a small area that was a bit enlarged but within the normal range. I had a really bad respiratory infection during the scan so that could easily have been the explanation. That's what lymph nodes do when you get sick. They get mad and help fight the infection. I almost didn't say anything about the itching. The doctor was turned away and noting the respiratory infection in my chart and I managed to stammer out "I....um...I've had a few weird...I know it's probably just paranoia but...you see I just had a few very small flares of itchingandIknowI'mjustbeingparanoid. Hehe.". Well, her head just snapped right around and she looked right at me so seriously. So I started in again: "I mean I know people itch all the time but it just makes me a bit nervous because it's the same quality as before and I just thought I should tell you and I know I'll get scanned again in a few months and I'm sure it was nothing but I thought you should know.". Then she started writing in my chart. Crap. "You were right to tell me. We'll keep an eye on it and it's likely fine, but if it happens again you need to call.".
Doctors love to say: "It's a straightforward procedure."
Bone Marrow Transplant.
What's the plan?
- My cancer is back
- I'm having a Bone Marrow Transplant
- I'm going to hospitalized a whole lot
- I'm going to be really sick
- We caught it really early
- There is a very small amount of cancer
- My prognosis is better than that initially quoted 50% because:
- I'm young (they transplant patients up to age 75)
- I'm healthy (so much that each time I see a new nurse or doctor their jaw drops, I'm working on swimming a mile people!)
- I'll be going into transplant in remission which isn't always the case
- We have the most incredible support system
This is going to really be yucky and really difficult, but I'm going to let Emma Stone tell you why it will be ok: