I’ve had several PET scans and every time the news has been some bad and some good; always new tumors but no evidence of spread beyond my right leg. With the amputation of my leg and removal of the lymph nodes that had been described to us as a barrier to the rest of my body, I wasn’t sure what news to expect from this scan. Dr. O’Keefe called Tuesday morning and I was anxious to get right to the results. The cancer is now evident in my wrist and one vertebrae of my spine. It’s interesting because the tumor in my wrist is deep in the muscle tissue and the tumor on my spine is deep in the bone. This makes me look at the cancer and its progression in a very different way than I had previously. Maybe the tumor in my ankle that became swollen and grew quickly after playing kickball was not the first, un-agitated others may have just grown slower. The key concern seems to be that if the tumor on my spine continues to grow it could eventually cause damage to my spinal cord.
Up until now, I’ve maintained some remote hope that maybe I could get ahead of this and be cured, or live this out for a while. But treatment has changed from eradication of disease to treatment of pain and other side effects and maximizing quality of life. Two things that now plague me are: how much time do I have, and what kind of damage do I face during that time? Every time I write, talk to, or see someone, I feel like it could be the last. So back to our question from the weekend — where do we go from here? Now, just as always, it comes down to finding as much enjoyment through interactions with friends and family, new adventures, and good food as my tired and feeble body can handle.