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Looking Up and Looking Down the Road

It was generally a positive meeting with the doctor to review the results of the CT scan. He didnt think the spots on her pelvic bone were mets. Just a denser area for whatever reason. Thats good news… But the bad news is no quick fix to her terrible pains via radiation. Instead, more drugs (Lyrica) to try and treat the symptoms. The 4 mets in her lungs have shrunk to the point where they were not visible on the CT, but the doctor wanted to make it clear, they are almost certainly still there. Shrunk, but still there like some cruel sword of Damocles that will follow her around for the rest of her life. Its odd how we all have such a sword over us. But until you look up to see it, you live in blissful unawareness. But once you see it, you can never forget it is there. So, the sixty four thousand dollar question is of course, what does it mean. For now, its stay the course. The Doctor wants to do 6 more chemo cycles, and then Kathleen can take a break. And by break, he means just that. CT scan 2 months from now and then 2 months after that. If things remain small, then another 2 month reprieve. If not, back on chemo. Repeat– more life in the chemo cave.

In some ways, today felt like snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory for her. “We won this round!!! … Wait, what exactly did she win?” She was generally pumped up at the prospect of a positive report, but instead the meeting got refocused in a way she didnt quite expect– talking about the long term. It seems like its been so long since we thought about anything long term and looking down that road is frankly quite scary for her, for us. We know we are on that long cancer road / cancer support road, but frankly, you kind of get used to trudging along, looking at your shoes as you move forward with the odd glance to the left and right of you when the scenery warrants. But raising your head and looking down the road ? Thats a “holy shit, how the hell am I going to do that?!?” reaction. This has been a particularly hard cycle for Kathleen, and the prospect of doing this for the rest of her life is a bitter pill to swallow to say the least. “One day at a time” flips back and forth between infuriating trite cliche and mind saving mantra. As her friend, I dont know the answer. I dont know how to help her through this part of the road, nor does she know how to help herself either. But then again, these are heavy philosophical questions that are meant to be constantly asked, never to be answered with finality.

Chemo day tomorrow potentially. But I dont think it will happen. Kath just doesnt have the physical strength to do it right now. My guess is it will be delayed a bit to let her recover.


About In the Cancer Bubble

I am Kathleen's partner of almost 25yrs supporting her through this very tough and rough spot.

6 responses to “Looking Up and Looking Down the Road

  1. Jennifer Corbett ⋅

    Sending you love…always thinking of you both xo

  2. jacquie and mike ⋅

    love you…hugs

  3. judy ⋅

    Dear Mike and Kathleen,
    Hoping the Lyrica will help with the pelvic pain without side effects. Very good news about the mets on the lungs being shrunk to indetectable. The chemo is working at keeping them at bay.
    Love Judy

  4. Alice Nabalamba ⋅

    Kathleen and Mike,
    Thinking of you.

  5. ~ Jill ⋅

    Dear Kathleen and Mike, Oh those beautiful brown eyes. That Mr. Orville is such a precious fellow. I love how he is right there by your side in his own sweet and gentle way. He is delightful. And equally delightful, thank you for the pleasure of your company this past weekend. It is always so good to spend time with you both and equally with Jan, Elaine and Miss Betty too. Hope today is a day to enjoy the beauty and freshness of spring. Sending big hugs to you all. XOXOXO

  6. Rosemary P ⋅

    You have both dealt with so much in this past year, with grace and courage, focusing on the day by day. Celebrate the good news, and I send lots of hope and wishes that relief from the pain is near.

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