And here I was thinking things were going well: I did my fourth dose of ipilimumab, my second dose of Zometa and I had an appointment to deal with my back pain. I had a spinal MRI on Monday morning, with a call back for a consult for a vertebroplasty of my T7. On Tuesday, I had another PET scan. On Wednesday, I went in for a vertebroplasty – basically, they injected lucite into my fractured vertebra to stop the pain. Thursday was a nice day to sleep and recover from a crazy week. Then came Friday.
When your oncologist asks if any of the other doctors who’ve seen you over the week has said anything about your MRI or PET scan, you know it’s a bad day. Evidently, during my ten weeks of treatment, my cancer spread like wildfire up and down my spine. Ipilimumab didn’t have any effect on my cancer.
So where am I now? I believe my life is now measured in months (no one has said how many, but there are no more approved treatments). I’m trying to get into an NIH study and I’m getting more radiation to alleviate the back pain. I’m maintaining my positive attitude until the bitter end, which I hope will be 40 years from now. We won’t tell the kids until after Christmas; no sense in ruining a last, happy memory.
Right now, all I want to do is crawl in a hole and cry. But I won’t. I can’t. The past two days have truly sucked, but I’ll be better by Monday. Then I can go back to having hopes and dreams.
I wish I had words to offer. Words are so empty at times like these, though. And yet, I’m glad you’re writing SOMETHING even if it’s just updates on your health.
My problems seem so insignificant by comparison, and yet Anne Lamott would say something like “Your stuff is your stuff. You get to think what you think, and feel what you feel, and other people’s horrible situations doesn’t mean your own are somehow invalidated.”
I spent Thanksgiving working on a super-awesome project. I’ll email you about it, if you think it might amuse you. (Actually, your expertise might be helpful).
My thoughts are with you and yours at this holiday season, and always.
Get yourself in a trial somewhere anywhere even if you have to temporarily move!! El Strickland