For a year and a half I have prepared myself to be killed, hopefully over a very long period of time, by lung cancer. Yes, I have a tiny spot on my spine, but we have ignored each other happily for more than a year.
The addition of another major organ – and the one most impactful on me – opens the floodgates to wonder where or when cancer will show again.
Before now, I hadn’t considered that each newly affected system will have its own methods, tools, and chemicals required to treat the tumorous tissue.
Suddenly the plan between me and the rest of my life just got a lot murkier. More tumors? More treatments? Maybe even surgeries? Quite suddenly I look back fondly on all those ALK+ inhibitor side effects!
Right now I want to complete the brain tasks quickly: the doctors plan to stabilize it (if they can’t vaporize it entirely). Then who knows, maybe I’ll go another 18 months “lung cancer only” before a met pops up elsewhere.
There’s one last thing: I have a PET scan on Thursday; it’s my first in 9 months and will be used to establish a new baseline.
Funny, when my doctor said “to establish a new baseline” I heard “to see where else it’s growing.”