Saturday, May 18, 2013

Third Time's a Charm

It figures I would get a cancer that's (almost) as stubborn as I am.

We met with my oncologist to review the results of Thursday's scan, and it wasn't as squeaky clean as we had hoped for. A couple of spots lit up again -- some minor, but notable increases in activity in my spleen and chest wall, likely a couple of lymph nodes. These areas have been trouble spots since I was first diagnosed, almost two years ago now.

On the plus side, the activity levels were much lower than when I had my recurrence last summer, so at least this fucker is getting successively less troublesome. And while the radiologist suggested we wait another three months to see how things compare, with my history, my oncologist wants to start me on a new treatment course right away (or, as soon as insurance approves it). 

I'll likely start next week. I'll be the first patient at my oncology center to be treated with a new, targeted chemo called TDM1/Kadcyla that was approved by the FDA earlier this spring. Because this is a targeted chemo, the side effects are supposed to be minimal. I may even get to keep my hair. And because it's well-tolerated, it's likely something I'll be on long-term.

When we received the news in January that my scan was clean and I could take a break from chemo, Chris and I celebrated with a champagne toast at a little outdoor cafe. Today, we ran a quick errand and had a late lunch sitting in his car in the parking lot at In-N-Out, trying not to drip our animal-style cheeseburgers all over our laps. He made a joke about how far our standards had dropped. 

As I write this, my two boys are snoozing in bed next to me. There is no better feeling in the world than being part of this family. And I tried to put Quinn down in his own room tonight, but it took a couple of hours (yes, really), and then he ended up dragging his brown blanket down the hallway to our room just after midnight anyway. As I sat next to his bed, rubbing his back and waiting for him to fall asleep, I sobbed as quietly as I could. My drawn-on eyelashes didn't stand a chance today.

I'm still trying to process all of the emotions I've felt in the last twelve hours, and I am exhausted. But you can be sure this bedraggled little army of mine and I are in this for the long haul. I am determined to beat this shit into remission again. Because Chris deserves a reason to toast champagne again, and Quinn -- well, someday I'd like to toast champagne with him, too.  

Plus, the third time's a charm, right?