It was a long day at UCIMC. I started with an ophthalmology consult that could not happen because a first-time appointment requires two hours; I had only 40 minutes until my next appointment. It was a glitch, obviously, that the person scheduling did not catch when we set up the appointment. Usually, they are good at seeing other appointments in the scheduling system that might conflict with the appointment they are setting up. That did not happen this time. When I was sitting in the waiting room, it occurred to me that I might not be able to make it to my oncologist’s meeting, not an appointment I will not miss, of course. The clinic staff were understanding and suggested times that would work so I could see my preferred physician. That will be a reschedule.
During the meeting with my oncologist we talked about the progression, the lingering questions and the options for treatment. We do not like the progression in both the upper and now the lower spine. Additionally, because of some other recent but inconclusive findings on various tests, I will go for a chest and abdominal CT scan. My liver has a couple of questionable areas that warrant vigilance. With the pain and problems in the left hip joint and leg I went for an x-ray today before leaving UCIMC. Progression: Cancer certainly has changed the connotations of that word.
All options are on the table: chemo, hormonal and radiation. Radiation fits more with hormonal because we can do them simultaneously, and it’s good for local progression. Can we be sure this is only local? Not really. It’s a gamble. It is a good option, however, for reducing tumor and pain in a specific location; after we use it there, however, we lose it as an option if further progression occurs later in the same area. As far as systemic treatment, chemo shows results sooner than hormone treatment. But, do we bring in the big guns yet when we might be able to control the progression now with less force, that is, with hormone treatment and, as an additional option, radiation. Keeping the chemo option for future progressions seems more comfortable to me at the moment. I vacillate a bit, however.
I think my mind is made up, but I need some time for it all to sink in and for me to be comfortable that this is the right choice for me.
I just do not want this cancer thing any more. I think I will sell it on eBay. OK, maybe CraigsList is a better option.
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