It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to write my feelings, check in with folks, or really do anything besides go to work, go home, and go to sleep. My new job has been truly wonderful, and I’m so happy. But I’m tired, y’all. To be honest, things have been pretty cancer-y lately.
Here are some updates: I had brain radiation again on October 6. My radiologist said it went very well and that I’m very good at keeping still for over an hour. Yay me. They treated four small tumors. We’ll see in December with another MRI how that treatment went, but all is expected to go well just like last time. More little spots may turn up, but this zapping thing works pretty well on them.
Since radiation, I’ve been feeling very fatigued. I’ve been sick to my stomach much of the time. I have a very weird and fickle appetite. And things have generally been a little bit off. So it wasn’t a huge surprise to me when the results of my PET scan this week showed that my BRAF inhibitor treatment (the stuff that’s been doing such a great job taking care of the cancer in the rest of my body) has stopped working as well. Rather than continued shrinkage, most of the cancer in my body has remained the same. Most importantly, the cancer in my liver is getting worse.
So, it’s that time — I’m going to switch to immunotherapy treatment.
I’ve been excited and confident about this new, promising treatment from the very beginning, so I feel great about starting this. I won’t have to take so many pills. I won’t get horrible fevers anymore. And everything in the universe has been telling me that this treatment is going to be great for me. This keeps me smiling through the pains in my abdomen and the beginnings of my radiation hair loss. I have a really great option that so many haven’t had.
When my tumors were shrinking, I almost had a sense of things getting back to normal. Cancer was more of an annoyance that interfered with my life by way of appointments during work hours and planning my meal times around my meds. But after my second radiation and this last scan, the fear has creeped back. It was always there, lurking in the background, but now it’s ever-present in my conscious mind again. Yes, I fear death from this disease. I remain positive, and I have such strong conviction that this new treatment will work for me. So many things that I can’t quite explain logically make me feel very certain of this. But the fear is still there. Hard to avoid it, given all the scary things broadcast about cancer everywhere you turn. But the thing is, cancer has angered me. I watched other kinds of cancer take two of my very favorite people in the world. And here it is, come for me. And that isn’t OK. Cancer can’t do this to my parents. It can’t do this to my family that has been through the hard parts of this before and who have been there praying and supporting with everything they have. So I’m pretty pissed off that it thinks this is an acceptable time to be messing with us. And I’m not someone you want to piss off. So cancer, LEAVE MY FAMILY ALONE. And leave my body alone. I’m exhausted, and you’ve overstayed your un-welcome.