(Written in July. Forgive the delay)
Here I am again. In the radiology waiting room with bad art and annoying television. We’re repeating imaging to look at the nodules in my lungs and lymph nodes to ensure they aren’t growing and maybe they’ve even disappeared.
About my lungs, there was this horrible window of time where it was possible I had tumors in my lungs that had grown and spread while I was off chemo preparing for and then recovering from my surgery. You might remember, my last CT scan after my surgery said three nodules in my lungs had all grown. I knew there was maybe one nodule in the very beginning but because it had been unaffected by my pre surgery chemo it had been determined it most likely wasn’t cancer since all my cancer had shrunk dramatically with chemo. This would mean we’ve got some chemo resistant cancer in my lungs! We would have to completely change the direction of future treatments! Plus just the idea of having cancer in my lungs was unnerving. I’d gotten comfortable with the whole colon, liver, lymph node tumor thing but for it to be even more progressed than that was very disheartening! There was this small hope that what the radiologist had seen was present the whole time and wasn’t new. I’d still have to mentally adjust but somehow knowing they weren’t new would comfort me.
… and a man in the waiting room just threw a magazine across the room and yelled at his wife that he’s sick of being treated like an invalid. Oh my…
My oncologist spoke with the radiologist directly and asked him. What’s the deal with these nodules? Are they new? Were they always there and just too small to be reported by the other radiologists? The good news is, yes. He saw the same nodules on previous pre surgery CT scans. But where they were unaffected by chemo they did increase in size by millimeters while I was off chemo. I asked my oncologist why hadn’t they been affected by chemo and thought to be calcium deposits not cancer.
… oh man now the man is wobbling up to a stranger and asking her to bring up the World Cup game on his phone. Oh dear…
She said some cancer is slower growing. Chemo targets rapidly dividing cells and so if a cancer isn’t dividing as quickly (growing) it’s not going to absorb the chemo as much and will be less affected. What this concludes is that my cancer is damn aggressive and very sneaky. Hiding in my lungs and lymph nodes. Tsk tsk tsk. So it was concluded I needed even more chemo, two more rounds worth with an added medication.
… my goodness, sir, the volume on your phone is very very loud…
my last post had left off with me being beyond disappointed. My body had had enough chemo. The nausea was relentless and the intestinal cramping was crippling. That’s not even mentioning the emotional and mental exhaustion of clinging to faith an hope when things turn for the worse not the better. I had been entertaining ideas of going back to work, hitting workouts hard, starting to intern at the gym, starting up with my physical therapy business, I had made plans for my birthday to take a vacation with my brothers and go camping with my friends and now they would be bulldozed by more chemo. I felt my heart starting to slip into lies of darkness and death and unfulfilled, broken promises.
Honestly, looking back, I don’t remember how I was brought back to solid ground again. I remember that I had to make a choice to believe the Lords promises… AGAIN. I had to chose to believe He is just as powerful and faithful and good intentioned. I had to chose to believe that He hadn’t forgotten about me and changed His mind. AGAIN!!! … This war is relentless.
So today I have repeat scans. I survived two more rounds of chemo, just one round shy of my pre surgery chemo and way harder on my body. I’m choosing to believe nothing’s grown since my last scan and that the blood clot in my lung is gone. Here’s to fighting for life and hope and cures! Banana barium smoothie we meet again. Bottoms up!
Got the results from my scans, everything is stable! This is good news, everything is the same size as the last scan after my surgery.