Every six weeks we face a CT scan and MRI to determine what is happening deep within my lungs with the tumors that were discovered to be metastasized pancreas cancer in late June 2018. Blood work is drawn and can be a precursor for activity of the tumors, but not always. The anticipation we endure is indescribable. It is like living with a ticking time bomb in your body, never knowing when the bomb will go off.
Today the bomb went off. One of the newest tumors in my left lung doubled in size in just six weeks.
The other eight tumors in my right lung remained stable. But now there are two or three in my left lung and Dr. Ko remarked that “the one that grew pretty significantly is concerning.”
My cancer mets are now considered “progressive”.
Now we face decision time. What are our treatment options we ask our radiology oncologist who specializes in lung disease? Dr. Ko works side by side with my hematology oncologist to guide us. His answer today was a possible targeted therapy that would focus on eradicating the tumor with radiation. The plus side is the treatment would offer limited side effects with only a five percent chance of effecting my lung capacity. And, it would not effect my quality of life, which to this time has been amazingly good. The down side is it will not effect the other tumors whatsoever. After the targeted radiation therapy we would typically wait six more weeks for a CT scan. Now that the cancer is progressive, it is impossible to determine if the other tumors will begin to grow as well.
Between appointments we visited our church to talk to God about the latest development and to pray for strength and courage and discernment to make the right decisions. He never disappoints. We both left the church feeling a peaceful calm. Thank goodness we have our faith.
The second option is aggressive chemotherapy. this would in fact attempt to eradicate all the tumors and hopefully make some disappear, the others to shrink. But, the downside is the side effects of aggressive therapy. My quality of life for eight weeks and a few beyond would suffer.
So what do we do?
My amazing husband has two trips planned. One, an annual trip to Vegas for Super Bowl and a Lady Gaga concert…and a trip to Southern California to accompany him to a trade show in late March. Will I be able to make these trips we ask? Dr. Mody studies the calendar and comes up with some dates. It looks like we can make this work.
I tolerated the chemo regimen very well the first time, no reason to think I won’t this time. I might be a little tired, but I know I can make it. I won’t let this stop me from living my best life.
We begin chemo on Saturday. Thank you Jesus!
I hope I can make it to Lady Gaga…