Unfortunately the literal, not proverbial. It seems the source of Kathleen’s shoulder pain are two very enlarged lymph nodes which likely indicates the cancer has spread to her neck area. She also has had trouble swallowing, so there is a good chance something (another node) is pushing against her esophagus. There are probably others below the surface that have been invaded as well. Just can’t feel those. She found the ones in her neck yesterday. Just like that, they were there. The Cancer Centre squeezed us in today with her backup GI Oncologist, as main chemo guy was away. Depending on the scan results, they might add others drugs to the Folfox mix that was to start next week. My guess avastin to attack the (probably) growing tumors, but thats just a guess based on reading what others with this type of cancer have gone through.
So the big CT scan this week will include almost everything from the abdomen and up. This is a very scary set back for her. For me, its tough enough to take this crappy news. For Kath, she has to deal with this in a very physically painful and drugged context. There have been a few nights where its been very tough on her. Up until now there has not been this level of pain at home. Although “team pain” is quite liberal with the meds, they only do so much and frankly she does not want to be on them as they have their own issues. But, its the least worst choice at this point.
So, what does it all mean ? Its really hard to say. Through the Duodenal cancer group, I know of at least 3 other people who had similar lymph node issues post surgery. It was treated with Folfox and they shrunk. Obviously we are hoping for the same results, but we were hoping the 6 months chemo would be to prevent things from forming in the first place, not to battle things on new fronts.
As one of the nurses said a while ago, we need to acclimatize to this new normal… again….