Some excerpts below:
We have a plan, I am starting an oral chemo (chemo in tablet form) called capecitibine – brandname Xeloda. I will keep having this as long as it is having an effect - until treatment effectiveness plateaus (there is no further shrinkage of tumour or drop in tumour markers in my blood tests). I will then have a 6 month break, if it remains stable for those 6 months there is a possibility of trying more rounds of Xeloda to maintain.
If while on the chemo or within the 6 month break when treatment effectiveness has plateaued more metastasis appear or this one continues to grow, we will be looking at switching to a different chemo. Given the pattern/timeframe of the cancer’s recurrence so far, the doctor is hopeful for any single treatment protocol to be effective for at least 18 months. The lesion/tumour on my liver has grown markedly since it first became apparent on the December scan and as of my scan (in) March is approx. 4.2 cm x 3.5cm in size and is located in the area of my liver that is roughly adjacent to my right shoulder blade – just under my diaphragm.
All of this is not great news as we move to more of a control mode rather than looking at me being completely cured. Prognosis now is very dependent now on how effective each chemo protocol is at controlling progression. For the meantime, we have decided life will on as normally as possible, but there are issues we do need to think about now such as quality of life, priorities if and when treatment doesn’t work etc.
So what does this mean for Mama Scribbles? As she said, control, not cure. I was surprised how hard that hit me. We've always known that it was a possibility and moving to it being an actuality affected me more than it would. Hearing mum talking about what she would tell LilSis when medication was no longer an option, it struck me - there will come a point when medicines and treatment DON'T work anymore. Her prognosis is quite open-ended and a lot will depend on how well and for how long these treatments work but at this stage I'd feel blessed if she was around long enough to see me married and my children being born.
I probably sound like I'm keeping it together a lot more than I am (I'm sorry Mum, I'm not quite as strong as I appear). I can't deny that I've cried (a lot) and stuck the middle finger up at God going "Really? Seriously? Want to shove my face in the muck a little bit more?". I think my body went into tension overload on Friday which caused me to throw up and then spend the best part of two days in bed. SB has been an absolute star through all of it though and I'm so glad I have him in my life. Today is a new day however and it's time to suck it up and move on. Live and love life, for as long as we all have it.