Latest Scan Results
After a few months of meeting with different doctors and doing some different tests, we decided to go back to the trusty old CT scan for imaging on Friday October 26th. My lead oncologist felt that a ten week gap without treatment was long enough and wanted to see how the cancer had reacted.
The previous issues with the scans were that I had large areas of white murkiness that were inconclusive to the reviewing radiologists. The murkiness could have been infection or inflammation or more cancer or something else altogether.
The results we received on Sunday October 28th were very consistent with my previous CT scan batting average — bad. The cavitary lesion in the lungs had grown a little (those black holes I’ve posted pictures of before). The murky spot in the upper left lung that we had been watching since June finally revealed its true colors and showed up as a cavitary lesion (another black hole). It measures 8.5 cm x 6.5 cm which is about the same size as the other big lesion in the right side of my lungs that is 8.9 cm x 6.1 cm.
The news didn’t get better the more we read on in the report. The report read “The right main pulmonary artery is narrowed to 4.5 mm, previously measured at least 12.7 mm in diameter.” And the final part was the real stinger. There are spots in the liver and in both kidneys that they suspect are new metastasis. They are small and not impacting the functions of those organs, but obviously not good to have sprung a leak into new organs.
So after speaking with our doctors Sunday night we started arranging for a new chemo regiment to start that following Tuesday. I will be doing weekly doses of Taxol which is a fairly well tolerated drug that people with lots of different types of cancer take. The purpose of Taxol is to see if we can buy ourselves a little more time — it won’t likely shrink the cancer but hopefully can slow / stop the cancer growth for a period of time.
I did my first round on Tuesday October 30th and my second round this past Tuesday November 6th. They load me up on Benadryl prior to giving me the Taxol which totally wipes me out for the day. During both treatments I have fallen asleep during the infusion, Camilla drove me home, and I woke up a few hours later almost not able to remember how I made it to my bed. Ironic how my system is so sensitive to a slurp of Benadryl but we pound it with poison to kill some broken cells and we can’t get a response.
I’ll do another treatment next week and take two weeks off from treatment to see how I’m feeling and then likely start back up for three more rounds in December.
There is no way or reason to sugar coat it. It is hard to see the continued progression of the cancer. I feel it in my body now more than I ever have. It impacts my breathing and my stamina and it makes my chest ache. It is ever present. The chemo makes me really fatigued and feel the body aches as if I have the flu. It’s not a fun combo.
But there is still peace. There is a foundation of peace in our lives that helps us deal and cope keep plodding forward. The Savior said
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
And we are able to access that peace and can attest to how real it is.
Sunset to be remembered
At the beginning of October we went to Rocky Point, Mexico to meet up with various members of my family and extended family and one of my good friends from high school. We had a fantastic week on the beach. There was some extra sentimental value because this was the vacation spot of my childhood. Every year I remember going to Rocky Point with my family and meeting up with other family friends that also went down there. Getting to see my kids playing on that same beach with each other and with their cousins and being back there myself for the first time in 15 years brought a flood of memories.
On our drive home we were blessed with the most spectacular sky and sunset. Here is a little photo of what I could capture, but you really had to be there to appreciate the magnificence of it all. It was like a perfect sendoff from one of my favorite places by the Maker of Sunsets.