Monday, June 6, 2011

Not What You Want to Hear from Your Doctor

Dr. K just called me. He wants me to start whole brain radiation in two weeks. And, then do more aggressive chemotherapies like the Taxotere or Ixempra.

But he also said that with the way my cancer is behaving, this may be my last Christmas.

Not what you want to hear from your doctor.

I refuse to believe that that is the case.

But because he sounded so dire, I might do the whole brain radiation in three weeks - so that I'm finished by the time we go to the Coast in mid-July.

And, maybe I'll consider the stronger chemotherapies later this summer - like in August.

In the meantime, he's going to get me back on Tykerb.

Shit. I really wanted to take it easy from treatments this summer.

But I owe it to my son to do whatever it is I need to do. And, I have two books to write.

I also told him about TDM-1 and how it's put one person I know into stable disease status. And, she gets cyberknife treatments for any new brain mets that show up. She thought she was going to die last year and here she is.

I am not giving up on the idea of stable disease status. I can't.


Heather said...

Dee, I'm having a lot of curse words just repeating through my brain over and over as a result of reading this. There are exceptions to EVERY rule and I am absolutely going to have as much faith as YOU have had that you will be the exception. Sending you love.

laurie said...

I'm so sorry, Dee. But I do love your attitude. If awesomeness, courage and strength have anything to do with it, you are going to kick it. xo

MisAnthropology said...

no, that's not something you want to hear from your doctor over the phone or sitting in his nice office or anywhere. The reality is, though, that this could be the last Christmas for any one of us for any number of reasons. I could crash my bike or keel over from a stress-induced aneurysm while reading a particularly bad student paper. I could eat some bad bean sprouts in Europe this summer. I could slip on an unfortunately placed grape in the produce aisle. So?

Christmas 2005 was my brother's last; hardly a month later he went and keeled over from a stressed related aneurysm likely brought on by the Bush Administration's shenanigans. Who would have thunk it? One more stupid Bush utterance and *poof* he was gone.

It's probably better when it comes at you from your blind side, like that. I'm not sure that having a warning in advance of it is really all that beneficial, UNLESS it can truly spur you into the action of living and healing and living, living, living through your days, damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead. Make yourself some trouble, Dee, even if that trouble is to put up your fisticuffs and give death a few punches in the nose. Nikos Kazantzakis (as Zorba) says, "life is trouble! Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and LOOK for trouble!"

So do what you can to minimize the prognostications, get Zorba the Greek on your summer reading list (ignore the misogynistic parts)and go make some trouble, damn it. You're alive right now. Be there. The more you're there now, the more likely the chances you can beat it. Get that 'don't mess with me' face on, guuurl!

oh gawd... I sound so insufferably Deepok Chopra mixed with Tyra Banks. I'm really not that deep, you know; I'm just a stubborn bone gnawer.

We're leaving town for a while, but if you can carve out a time up here after July 8, we would love to host you for a dinner and an overnight. If you have treatments and such up here, Chez NolanMunoz has its doors open, too.

Dee said...

Thank you, Heather, Laurie, and Mary. And Mary, you are right. No one really k OSS how much time they have left. I just hope it isn't a bad student paper that does you in! I will definitely readZorba the Greek. And I will try to get into some trouble.

I am trying to picture someone who looks like a combination of Deepak and Tyra. Hmmmm

Teresa Hartman said...

Joining all in using every bad word I learned as a truck driver. Glad you have good caregivers on your side that give you their honest opinion, though they don't know 'it' all. Sending you hugs, lady. Let me know if I can look up anything for aftercare or other issues.