i hope

I’ve been on my new treatment for a month now. But I have only actually been on it for half of that due to the damage that just two weeks of it did to my bone marrow.

I’m back on it now on a dose hopefully more suited to a woman of my size. At my appointment on Monday, my oncologist said brightly, “So did you enjoy your long break from chemo?!?!” “No,” I replied glumly. “I would much rather be on it than off of it.” I don’t think he quite understood. Probably because he didn’t have to see me during any of the four extra trips I had to take to his office to get my blood drawn and see the nurse to get a white blood cell production booster shot. The people at the lab now know my name, and they now ask me while they’re tying the tourniquet, “Do you have any blood left?”

Aside from the inconvenience, there’s also the nagging question that is never far from my mind when i’m off chemo: are the tumors growing?

Can I even be trusted to answer this question?

My mother thinks I can. This morning she asked me point blank if my tumors were growing again. It struck me as a funny question to ask. What do I know? I had cancer for most of my life and didn’t know it. And even now, i’ll bet even the most positive and rational cancer patient probably convinces herself at one point or another that her cancer is growing again…even if it’s not. I have not been feeling very positive lately due to the fact that the healthy part of my body doesn’t seem to like the chemo i’m taking, so I said, “I think they are.”

Of course, my doctors don’t care what I think. They care about tumor markers and scans. Particularly the oncologist I’ve been seeing. I told him that the new-ish pain in my side has been getting worse. He said, “Well you have a lot going on in your abdomen. That’s probably from your surgery.” “Really?” I said skeptically. “My surgery was two years ago. This is a new pain.”

My old oncologist, who I saw today, was a little more sympathetic. “Do you take anything for it?” “Just Tylenol sometimes.” “Does it work?” “Sort of.” “Do you want something stronger?” (“Noooo…” I said reluctantly. “I don’t think I really need it.”)

Even though he didn’t dismiss it, he also didn’t throw open the door, call the hospital, and scream into the phone, “Lindsey’s tumors are growing!!! Quick–stop them!!!” After all, doesn’t cancer command a sense of urgency? Not my cancer. My cancer grows slowly. There’s no chance it will get out of hand while we wait to see whether the chemo kills bad cells as vigorously as it’s killing good cells. Instead he said, “If your tumor marker has spiked and your pain continues to worsen, that’s a reason to get an early scan.”

There is still a chance that the little white pill i’m taking again before bedtime is quietly doing just that. I hope.

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6 Responses to i hope

  1. Megan says:

    Thinking about you and praying for healing!

  2. Matt says:

    I have learned to live with doubt, uncertainty & no knowing what’s next. I think it is more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong.

    Gilda Radner once said…

    “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.”

    She called it…”Delicious Ambiguity.”

    Something to think about…

  3. Ronny says:

    I am praying FOR YOUR GOOD HEALTH Lindsey. I know I have written you before about PolyMVA.. It kills cancer cells, not good cells. It gives you energy. It doesn’t make you sick.
    I took it for lung cancer 8 years ago… no chemo, no radiation… I’m still here and healthy.. I
    tried to get in touch with you a few times. It’s for your health… PolyMVA.com
    Please, look it up..

  4. BBW says:

    No words … Just compassion. From thousands of miles away, you are in my thoughts.

  5. Mrs. Butler says:

    As always, sending you tons of love and strength. I think you should trust yourself (I have been reading your blog for several months and like your mom, I trust your gut feeling). – Worrywart <3

  6. Ashli says:

    Have you ever had a PET CT? This is better than an octreoscan. I’d ask for one to try to get to the bottom of the new pain. Praying for you.

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