Conflicted

We spent 2 hours with the oncologist yesterday – so exhausting! What we found out is that I have Stage 4 adenocarcinoma – just the name for the type of cancer. Untreated, life expectancy is 4-6 months at stage 4; with chemo, life expectancy is about a year. However, there are newer treatments coming out soon that can help chemo with reducing the tumors and improve quality of life.

The type of chemo I’ll be getting has a long list of side effects, as most chemo drugs do. One of them is hair loss. The upside to that is it isn’t just hair on the head but all over the body, so it looks like I won’t have to shave my legs for a while! And, a friend of mine is visiting family in Louisiana, so I’ve asked her to look for something fun for me to wear in either LSU or New Orleans Saints colors. Geaux Tigers and Who Dat!!

The rest of the side effects can mostly be controlled with more drugs. I need to get everything organized so I’m ready for Monday when I get my first chemo treatment. I’ve already asked, so I know they won’t let my bring Spud (my mini poodle) with me. I’ll have my Kindle and my phone all charged up and ready to go.

Neither one of us slept well last night. To hear the prognosis was kind of a shock, to put it mildly. So this week, we’re going to be tying up some loose ends so that Steve and the fur babies won’t be left out in the cold when I die. But I’m not planning on living for only a year. The promising therapies nearing approval will greatly extend life, and there are others in the chute.

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6 thoughts on “Conflicted

  1. Go for it.
    My husband had all the bad signs possible..but he’s here still years down the line.

    Take noni, take graviola…they really helped him build up immunity to preserve cells under treatment.

  2. My heart aches for this journey that you’re embarking on. Hearing that prognosis is indeed a shock and heart-breaking. However, I agree, go for it. Because there are so many advances in cures and treatments for cancer…we just need to keep you hanging in here to take advantage of those advances when they become available for you, which I’m praying is sooner than later.

    As you know, I was my brother’s primary caregiver during his battle with cancer, I went to all of his oncology appointments with him, sat with him throughout every single chemo treatment, which may or may not have been helpful to him, he might have welcomed some respite from me, lol. But I remember him saying often that it wasn’t as bad as he had feared, other than the extreme fatigue. He thought it was harder on me/everyone else. I’m not sure I believed him, especially on the days when the side effects were more tangible than others. But that’s what he kept insisting. That it wasn’t so bad.

    You’ll be hearing a lot of advice, suggestions, etc from others who have been there. Sometimes it will be helpful. One thing that we learned the hard way was to never eat your favourite foods on your chemo days. Gary did that, and was never able to eat that food ever again, he said the chemo had changed the taste of it, and afterward anytime he tried to eat it, it tasted like the chemo.

    Have you found an online support forum for your cancer? There should be one out there somewhere. That can be a huge source of “insider information”, tips, lessons learned, etc, etc. Gary never used one, but I did, and did find it very helpful from a caregiver’s perspective. Maybe that would be helpful for Steve too.

    Anyway, I’m sorry you have to go through this, but since it IS your reality now, I will be following and praying and commiserating all along the way (except for the few months when we’re in Cuba…in which case I’ll have to follow from a greater silent distance). I love you and carry you in my heart every step and moment. xoxoxoxoxoxo

Ruth passed away from cancer. Please remove from list

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