Just another update on the ever-changing landscape of my cancer treatment! Sorry I didn’t get to share any knitting; right now my knitting game is PATHETIC…..
So tomorrow I go in to have radioactive pellets placed in a few of the artieries in my liver. This treatment is called Y90 – there’s loads of info on the Web about it and much of it is accurate so I won’t tell all about it. This is the first of two Y90 treatments – I’ll have another one in about a month. Why two – well I think if they gave me all of the pellets at once I might die of it, so they’re doing 2 treatments. I’m fine with that. This will essentially kill off about a third of my liver.
Then in another month after the second treatment, something else will happen: perhaps another round of chemotherapy, or it may be an ablation (laser burn off of cancerous lesions) on the other end of my liver that isn’t receiving the Y90, or it may removing more of my liver from the Y90 side. Or it may be a liver transplant. So, you may be wondering, why is this all up in the air?
Essentially, we – me, Studmuffin and the oncology team- are making a decision to do a more aggressive treatment schedule in order for me to actually become cancer-free. If we didn’t do anything other than a maintenance kind of chemotherapy at this point, the oncology team’s best guess is that I’d live 3 or 4 more years. But since I’m relatively young and have responded unusually well to the treatment thus far, we’re gambling on the more aggressive treatment. This is NOT a sure thing by any stretch of the imagination; I don’t have even a guess as to how likely it is that I will become cancer-free. All anyone can say is that I have a chance….and we’re taking that route. So at every point along the way, the team has to reassess what’s working or what isn’t and then make the next decision about what to throw at the Invader in hopes of killing it completely. That’s why there’s not a predictable schedule to follow.
This does make it a challenge to plan my immediate future, and I’m also trying to plan for what happens if the treatments don’t work as we hope, so that if I do die sooner rather than much, much later, my family will not have to make lots of decisions that I could’ve have made. I don’t want to leave a heavy burden for my family if I can avoid it. Kind of like “hoping for the best; expecting the worst.”
Did I mention that all of this is EXPENSIVE?!?!?! I mean we’re OK but I can easily see how medical expenses are the number one reason that private citizens in the US declare bankruptcy….
Thanks a MILLION BILLION SKADILLION times for all the prayers. It means EVERYTHING.