Thursday, February 19, 2009

insert sound of balloon popping

Sorry, gang, but post #101 isn't going to be bubbling with joy.

I got through that CT scan on Friday the 13th despite the completely humor-challenged radiology tech who administered the procedure. I'm still sporting a bruise from her IV ministrations, but it doesn't hurt. 'Got home from Towson just in time too... :whew:

The report went to Dr. Perry with the Cyberknife raditaion team who took it, along with my entire case history, back to his gastro disease board for a second, more detailed look. Unfortunately, they feel there are just too many spots still showing to make Cyberknife a good recommendation. even though they're not glowing on the PET scan from last month, they feel chemo is the better approach. If things are squashed more in the future, Cyberknife might be a good choice.

This wasn't what I wanted to hear though I fully understood it was possible, if not the more probable outcome. Still looking for the silver lining though, it also means the diseased areas are too small for surgery. That clicks with what Dr. Grasso said he observed through the laproscope waaaaay back in November of 2007. Nonetheless, I spent the majority of my afternoon in tears and generally depressed. I manned up and called Dr. Lee's office to advance my followup with her from the 3rd to tomorrow, the 20th. There is now no reason to be postponing chemo and I want/need to get it over with sooner rather than later.

By my reckoning, another twelve weeks sees me finishing in early to mid May. I absolutely HATE realizing that means another truncated summer of track days not to mention a hit to my disability income. It will have been a year now at the end of this month.

What I hate most though is the absolute dread I feel toward dropping those Xeloda pills AGAIN. They just drag me down so badly. I don't want to stop working, especially now that it looks like I'm going to get a good teammate to work with. But I know the pills are going to drain me, upset my stomach, interrupt my already fragile bowels, and generally make Life miserable. I don't know what to do. :'(

Friday, February 6, 2009

100th post...

I couldn't think of a clever title for this post other than to notice it would be #100 on the list. When this started, I naively thought I'd be in the hospital for a bit getting surgeried (tm), miss a few weeks of work, and then all would be good again. I never thought I'd be making a hundred posts to a blog or enduring this gauntlet. Yeah, I'm a little depressed after all this time but don't go rushing to dial 911. I've said it before that if someone told me all the details of what Life would turn into after this, I might have seriously considered doing nothing.

But I did something and I'm pretty much committed to seeing it through now. It'd be one helluva waste to have suffered this much and then cash in my chips early. but that doesn't mean I can't try to do something to make the rest of the ride easier.

Which is why I've been on the edge of my seat with the Cyberknife peeps. As I posted before, it might be an applicable therapy for the metastases I still want rid of. If I'm lucky, I'm a good candidate and maybe won't even need more chemo. I might be an okay candidate and get to mix the two. But I'm realistic and know I'll be back on the chemo if Cyberknife just isn't for me.

I've been unsuccessful in squelching my hopes for consideration though. Even over email I'm vibing a little too much; so much so that I got a 'calm down, be patient' kind of email back the other day after offering again to share all my CT and PET/CT scan images if they were needed.

I got a phonecall from one of the radiation oncologists who was looking over the documents and images I was able to submit. He wants to share them with some other doctors and get a larger consensus opinion and asked if I'd be okay with that. Of course. I concisely listed the doctors I've seen over the whole saga and emailed them to him today and will wait, patiently, while the chew on my case a little while longer. I did explain that Dr. Lee had given me this month to check out Cyberknife and that we're in no hurry. I closed with an acknowledgment that I'm not looking for any shortcuts but am also interested in less discomfort if an alternative treatment might mean dead lesions without a dreadfully ill Sco.

So, please pray for patience for me. :]