“Well, the results are not what we’d hoped to see.”
Those were the nurse practitioner’s first words. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that sentence after a CT scan…
My cancer has grown.
Not everywhere, but enough.
Of the two largest tumors that they’ve been measuring and keeping tabs on in my liver, one was slightly bigger and one was slightly smaller.
The key finding was new lesions. “New lesions” are my nemesis. “New lesions” are quite possibly the ugliest words in the English language.
I had new cancerous lesions in new lymph nodes and in my liver. “Several new lesions” in my liver.
This means: time for new drugs. The sole reason for new drugs: new lesions.
It seems that as tough as my spirit has been to defeat: my cancer is tougher. It appears that as “smart” as I’ve been told I am (believe it or not, I used to be known somewhat for my brains), my cancer is smarter. Kill it one way; it quickly adapts and finds a way around that obstacle to continue growing.
So the plan is to start a new clinical trial at the end of this month. The new drugs will include a MEK inhibitor (which is what I’ve been on) and will also block a second protein pathway in the cell (P something). I actually was found to have a mutation in both pathways, so instead of attacking one, as we’ve been doing; we will now be attacking both. Rather, attempting to block both.
Until I start the new trial, I am taking nothing. I have to get this current med completely out of my system.
I am discouraged. I have run the gamut this afternoon: profoundly disappointed, profoundly angry, profoundly confused, completely hopeless. I have no answers. No peace that God has a plan. No assurance that He has even heard a single prayer. No sense that He even cares. I feel as abandoned as any person in the world with advanced cancer. What is the point? What is the point in following God, in trusting Him, in crying out for His help? I am no different than an unbeliever in dealing with this.
And yet, I know, if I would truly think about it, it has mattered. I know He has blunted the pain. I know He has spared me from side effects. I know all is not lost now.
Just earlier this week, I found out that my ovaries survived chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can kill ovaries, permanently stop egg release, induce menopause. Mine were spared. I still have what’s needed to bear more children.
Maybe that was my sign of hope for this week?
Right now I don’t even want to analyze my feelings. I need to just go numb for a little while. I know when I emerge, God will be there. I know His peace will return. I know I will see He has never left.
My boys are outside. It is spring break. My plan had been to do quite a bit of writing over the break, while my parents entertained my boys. That plan is over now. I really don’t care how badly some of you want to read “my book.” I don’t know how much time I have left and I just want to play with my boys. I just want to be with my boys.
Signing out, a broken once again but somehow still breathing, Sara