It's been another large gap between posts. I need to stop doing that. It might scare people. Here's where things stand since March. Has it really been since March? I realize that I'm not writing about the mobile space or Android vs. iOS, or ecommerce or mobile commerce, or even about social stuff... I know that this is personal, but it's what's going through my head right now. I hope to return to ramblings that nerds or business nerds would enjoy, but for now, cancer posts are what you get.
I finished my rounds of chemo and Avastin in late March I think. Then I had to wait three weeks to get a PET scan to see how things were going. That was a torturous few weeks. Would it have worked? Would there be any progress? Would I need surgery? Would it have spread or grown more? I tried to remain calm, focused, and positive. But it's a super difficult thing to do.
The PET Scan came back with good news and some curious news. The good news is that the tumors shrank and that there was no real evidence showing up in the scan of cancerous activity. No spread of course, but also that the tumors were akin to dead tissue or something. Nothing lit up. I then went to UCSF to visit Dr. Jablons about what my next steps might be. That was a circus and I won't go into it now, but I finally spoke to Dr. Jablons after he reviewed the scans and he said that surgery wasn't the best option right now and that I should do more chemo. That's the curious news. Basically he said, that things are looking better, but the cancer is probably still there microscopically and because the tumors were on the outer edge of my lung, in the Pleura, surgery is tricky. But I was responding well to the treatment, so I should keep doing that. Okay. No one said this was going to be easy. During this time, I turned 43.
I was not looking forward to more chemo. I would need to have two more rounds. I also doubled up my efforts with my dietitian/nutritionist. She's great. Jocelyn over at Nourish in Santa Cruz. The first round in May went okay, but I could tell that it was taking a toll. Then three weeks ago I had my last infusion. This was the worst of them all. I just felt so run down and truly sick... for the first time I had an Idea of what it felt like to be dying... It was just a feeling, but it struck me that what I was feeling had something to do with death. And in reality it was true. The chemo coursing through my system was killing a part of me. Cells. Hopefully more cancer cells than anything else, but it's all a part of me. Before my first infusion this time, my Oncologist reiterated again, that yes things are looking good, but this is still very serious. He told me about the worst case scenario regarding my time... I won't say what he said, but it was sobering. But it was also the worst case scenario. I have a habit of beating worst case odds. Bottom line is that I have Stage IV Lung Cancer. Any time a cancer returns, it automatically gets classified as Stage IV, but there are lots of different flavors. So DO NOT Google Stage IV Lung Cancer. There are Stage IV Lung Cancer survivors and I intend to be one of them.
Again, I did not lose my hair. I still find this strange, but I am grateful. It did thin out a bit and it's more grey than before, but with my hair, it looks like highlights or something.
So after my last infusion I needed to wait three weeks to get a CT scan to see where we are at after these last two rounds. "Scanxiety" was setting in again. I was very nervous before the scan... I had the CT on Thursday and within an hour my Oncologist called and said it's good news. No spread and the tumors have been "resolved". Which I believe means that they are gone. The next steps are for me to into chemo maintenance mode. This means I get Avastin and one kind of chemo (I forget what it's called) every three weeks for for two months or so. Not sure yet. But the good news is that it won't be the heavy duty chemo that makes me feel like hell. The side effects will be (hopefully) minor. I'll know more on Thursday when I see my Oncologist and get my infusion.
Bottom line is that things seem to be going in the right direction. And for a survivor that's the direction I need to be headed.