The news isn’t good. My cancer continues to grow (it’s nice to know I can grow something). I had my CT scan yesterday and got the news from Lovely Liz around 2:20 pm (funny how you remember those things). Strangely, she was a bit upbeat, like it’s time to get moving now. We’ve played around long enough.
Now I was sure that my cancer had shrunk. I would have bet money on it. I think Pete Rose would have taken that bet. But life didn’t cooperate. I don’t feel bad, except for the persistent nausea from the cisplatin. I’m not even that tired. It’s strange, but a good strange. I know God is in control, no matter what comes next.
It’s not that I didn’t cry, I did. But not because I’m sad, because I’m really not. Pissed off is more like it. Pissed that I feel like I’ve wasted 12 weeks of treatment. Pissed that my kids have to continue to go through this. Pissed that I’ve got at least 24 more weeks of treatment and that will seriously cut into my planned vacation time. Pissed that my dad is not personally here to share this experience. I think my anger is being properly directed rather than being flung at the wall like taking a handful of darts and flinging them, hoping for the best.
Dr. Determined (I like this better than Dr. Downer) immediately went into full fight mode. Lovely Liz told me he skipped over the next couple of drugs in line. I imagine these drugs standing in line like tin soldiers waiting for their chance to be called up and Dr. D decides to call in the Navy Seals instead. And I’ve got to say, I LOVE the name of this new drug. It makes me smile every time I say it – Topotecan (pronounced toe-poe-tee-can). Isn’t that just be best name for a killer drug. Sounds so innocent.
Topotecan is from the Asian Happy Tree and is part of the Hyacinth family. It has a single minded mission – to destroy the DNA of cancer cells as they replicate. I imagine the double helix model with its red, blue, yellow and green ends twisting hoping to create more, when this little tiki guy comes in with his mask and rattle (think crazy witch doctor from Scooby-Doo and you’ve got my mental image) untwists the helix and starts pulling the ends of the DNA. The helix collapses. The witch doctor does another crazy dance and moves on to the next one. You can’t help but laugh or smile with this drug.
There are some positives. While my bone marrow will continue to take a hit and fatigue will be a greater monster, nausea may become a thing of the past. I am so nauseated today that this sounds like the best trade ever. It’s also done in 4 week cycles. I get an infusion every Wednesday for 3 weeks, then I get a week off. The infusion lasts about 2 hours, so I’ll only be at the hospital for 3 hours or so. As I’ve asked so many, “What will I do with my Wednesday afternoons?” Seriously, I’ve always had all day infusions. This is great! To celebrate, I’m getting a new haircut tomorrow. Well, actually I’m getting the haircut because my hair has lost its curl and is flat and thin, but it sounds better to say I’m celebrating.
God has promised me healing. I heard Him say it and He NEVER talks to me audibly so this is a promise I cling to. My husband and I ask only for shrinking tumors and that they become stable. We can live with stable. We can live with smaller. Maybe this is why I’m just not all that worried. As I explained to my Ultimate Bengal Fan, Dr. Determined’s job is to find the right drug, mine is to fight and not give up and God’s is to do the rest. Since God has the biggest job, who am I to stand in His way?
Please don’t feel sorry for us. We don’t. Pity doesn’t make anyone feel better. If anything, we are more determined than ever to fight as a family. The boys are looking forward to a more nausea free mom and Hubby hopes his cooking days are quickly coming to an end. I am looking forward to Wednesday afternoons. And God has all this in His Hands. Life may not be great, but it’s good. I feel good. Other than the nausea, better than I have in weeks.
Bring on the Topotecan and smile. God has work to do.