I kinda’ fell off the writing wagon for a while there. I knew this was the next logical post in the ongoing saga; I just haven’t felt up to writing it. I’ve been rearranging the kitchen cabinets, doing laundry, changing out the kitty litter, hell – I even baked a carrot cake to bring to church for tomorrow – I am talking serious procrastination here.
Arrrrgh. This is so not easy….
Okay, last I told you Honey had been in ICU twice for seizure activity while he was taking oral chemo. In October he had another scheduled MRI; the first at MD Anderson since he began chemo… I think I’ve mentioned before that MRIs are always on Friday before Monday holidays or Monday if imaging is open. Visits with the neuro-oncologist are always on Tuesday. This particular set of appointments was wrapped around Columbus Day, so I had three full days to ruminate. I had no idea what to expect – and I was more than a little anxious.
We arrived at MD Anderson early for our appointment (not at all the usual for me). Got called in to get blood pressure and pulse read by the nurse shared by both the neuro-surgeon (DrL) and neuro-oncologist (DrC). (She shall be referred to as SN for Super Nurse going forward.) Then we had some time to worry as we waited on DrC to arrive – w. Wait,wait, wait, worry, worry, worry, wait,wait, wait, worry some more and THEN enter the doctor.
Remember that when Blob first showed up he presented as a “wispy mass” and I just couldn’t wrap my mind around that description… This was my chance to see what that actually meant. Dr.C showed us the new image alongside the old. The difference was spectacular. In the original, Blob looked like a wisp of smoke – maybe even like your breath on a super-cold day. He had definitely hit a growth spurt in the past weeks, in the new MRI, Blob looked like a cloud on a spring day, when the wind is no more than a breeze. The kind of cloud that looks completely innocuous and benign. Only this was neither.
***This is the part that I have been putting off writing about, so brace yourself***
DrC told us that the oral chemo was having no effect on Blob. (This was made patently obvious in the MRIs.) That we would have to switch to IV chemo. That his plan was for Honey to get a combo of Avastin and Carboplatin. Avastin every two weeks and Carbo every four. He then proceeded to tell us that 25% of patients do not respond to this treatment. My heart fell – if he had told us that 75% of all patients respond well to this chemo-cocktail, I would have been so much in a better state of mind. Before I could find any words, Honey asked if he would be eligible for surgery if he fell into the 25%. DrC, responded in the negative… He told us that Honey would not be a candidate for surgery because of the risk-benefit assessment was not in our favor. That, given Blob’s consistency, they would likely remove as many healthy cells as cancerous (already mentioned in previous posting but worth repeating).
There I was, going all mama-bear on the doctors. Not a pretty sight, at all. They are not allowed to tell Honey “No.” (Nobody puts Baby in a corner.) It is MY job to keep Honey alive and I am not going to allow anyone to hinder me in my endeavors. I told them (DrC and the intern of the day) that I would rather have Honey paralyzed in a hospital bed in our living room than to not have him at all. That was when they informed me that we would not be able to find a reputable surgeon who would operate on Honey as surgery would only give him maybe five more months.
I swear that there used to be a rug under my feet.
What a major paradigm shift. Until that exact moment, Blob was not real. Or not a real problem. When Honey and I met, he was in remission. Of course if cancer came back, they would operate, remove it, radiate the hell out of it and we would be back at status quo. Bastards took that away my blinders. Bastards.