Yesterday I had a CT scan as a follow up after my last appointment confirming the beast had returned…I now have pancreas cancer mets to my lungs 100% confirmed. My radiology oncologist entered the room with a piece of paper, my scan report from the radiologist.
On the paper he had numbered 8 entries. Each entry documented the slide number where a nodule showed up and in comparison to the last scan..how much it had increased in size in those six weeks. When I had the lung resection in late June I had 8 nodules. They removed 3. My math skills are pretty good, so that would leave me with 5 right? Well, at the last appointment they said there was a new nodule in the left lung…that would be a total of 6. And now there are 8!
Only three out of eight nodules had shown slight growth, one, more than the other two. My head was swimming. It seemed there was always an increase in the numbers. Dr. Ko explained “these nodules are just not acting like pancreas cancer. They are not completely round and they are not growing rapidly like most pc tumors grow. They are still acting like lung cancer nodules. But, we have the DNA reports that conclude they are in fact of pancreas cancer origin.”
These visits are mentally exhausting. We hang on every word coming from his lips. “What is your recommendation for treatment?” my Joseph asks. “Can we just remove them all by radiation?” The doctor hesitates as he forms his response carefully. “That would not be safe and I believe it would not change the outcome. I will defer to your oncologist who might suggest chemotherapy, however, your quality of life is so good at this moment…none of your doctors wants to change that. Go out live your life..do everything you want to do while you are feeling good. That would be my recommendation.”
“How will these nodules progress? What will happen when they grow? ” we asked. “They will grow (and multiply) to where they press on the oxygen sources inhibiting breathing. We truly can’t predict when that would happen but based on the tracking we have done..two years.”
My faith tells me that this is what the doctor must tell me based on science. He is doing his job. He can’t turn to me and say without equivication it is up to God, not science how long you will survive. I know he has no idea of what God’s plan is for my life and nor do I. My sister Carmen always reminds me..”Just cause the doctors say it doesn’t make it so.”
We agreed to discuss with our oncologist going back on the three month scan schedule due to the continued slow growth. Tom looked at me with a smile on his face and said excitedly… ” That takes us to Napa for the fall crush, NYC for the Thanksgiving Parade with the babies and then Christmas.” We smiled at the thought.
When the recurrence was confirmed I received a save the date from Jesus. How lucky am I? I have the warning most don’t ever receive. I look at the picture of Olive who is approaching her second birthday on New Years Day. Mick was two years old in late May. I will cherish every moment of every day. Who knows, God might figure I have so much more work I can do to make a difference in this cancer that He leaves me here a little longer. Nothing about my cancer has been short of miraculous. Why should I believe it will be any different now?
If you received a warning that your life was ending soon would you live it any differently? Please think about that and make sure you enjoy every day and you share with others what is in your heart.
Today we meet with my oncologist, Dr. Mody. I bet he will concur no treatment yet. At least that is what we are hoping for.
Joseph said to his brothers, ” I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob”. Genesis 50:24