After the many days waiting for this appointment, it finally came. A very windy day but we made to Grand Junction. Cameron accompanied me for some ‘hand-holding’ if need be and to take notes.
Meanwhile, I had bought a book, Embrace, Release, Heal,’ written by a Grand Junction woman, who had horrible cancer with 3 recurrences. This is an amazing journey and after I read what she did and her decision to do Alternate and why, I felt totally re-invigorated. She spoke to me. She had the same fears, doubts and terrors….. and then, she had success and despite that her doctors/oncologist and other people tried to dissuade her, ridiculed her, she stayed the course. I applaud her. She made it. She’s well, for the time being.
After filling out some more paperwork we sat and waited. Wasn’t too long before I was called and went to the examination room. The nurse took my vitals and my bloodpressure was up a bit but nothing like in Denver (or Montrose Cancer Center.) I attribute this to two things. First, Cameron was with me and second, I have been at this Pavilion so many times, I should own a corner of it. The staff is very nice and ‘upstairs,’ know me by name. Dr. M. came in, introduced herself and we all shook hands. She told us that Dr. D. had not send certain scans (??) and they had called and asked for them.
To explain what I am dealing with, she drew a rough sketch of the body ( appologizing for lack of artistry) with the aorta running through. In the pelvic region she drew a cluster of lymph nodes next to it. Very neatly, tightly attached to the aorta. These I had not been aware of. You mean there’s more??
She told us, why surgery would not work. Even if they could get to the 5.5 cm ‘problem node’ and extract a portion, we’d still have to deal with the other ones and they simply cannot be excised out. ‘Cancer is a chronic illness‘, she informed us, ‘Similar to Diabetes.’
Even though she was aware that I did not like chemo, yet it was the only available option. Cyberknife would not work due to that cluster and one other area in pelvis. Chemo had worked well for me before, she said. She had me describe the after effects. She told me, that we could do the schedule differently. Instead of throwing the whole works at me in one sitting, we could do a lower dose over one week’s time and have 3 weeks off. At the same time, add anti-nausea meds into the IV, so I could or would tolerate it better. She told me of another patient, who’s abit older than I, who has tolerated this and functions quite well. Radiation would not work either, due to where it all was and the intestines would be damaged greatly.
She asked me how I ended up in Montrose. I’d told her, she didn’t have that much time. She laughed and said, take short route. I gave her the highlights. I felt so comfortable with this nice, kind spoken Doctor, that I’d told her what I was taking and what I was doing for myself. She did not even blink. I went a bit further and added that I take Tumeric/Curcumin, etc. No ridicule, no exclamation of ‘this is nothing but quackery’. Oh, I like her, I thought. She even gave me the name of a Naturopathic Doctor, in Ridgway, whom I can consult about the Vitamin C, Iscador and other vials that I had brought from Germany and had been sitting in my fridge ever since.
She asked, if anyone had ever suggested genetic testing? No, I said, never even came to mind. Well, since I have quite a line-up of family members with a cancer history on both sides, it would be feasible to have one. For my children and grandchildren. To find out if there’s a genetic reason. Medicare may not pay for this pricey test but we’ll go ahead and do this. I’ve had some ‘Angel’ friends visit me and others who send a check to help out with these expenses and bills that keep coming. Their love and kindness had me in tears.
I also told her about this new, piercing pain on the left side, in my abdomen. That one has me disturbed enough to mention it. I am taking my Ibuprofen 600 mg but sometimes, that’s not even touching it. I have stronger stuff but hesitate to take this as it will cause constipation and I feel so ‘rummy’ and fuzzy. I don’t like ‘drugs’
She said, that I could get just as many years out of this chemo.. and if ‘it’ came back, well we’d treat it again although the time span of remission in between would be closer together. Hey, I thought, ‘ Thank you, God’, I’ll take 10 years, to be with my family, to travel a little, to see the beauty of this world.’ I’ve made peace with my cancer and I will do things to help get better as this is another wake up call (unless it’s GENETIC) to change things in my life. No matter what its origin, now that it is here, again, I’ll try to deal with it as best and as gracious as I can.
Dr. M. suggested that we do a series of blood work, including genetic testing and a new CT scan as well as another CA 125. (Ovarian cancer marker).
When we were leaving, I took her hand and thanked her for being so kind, gave her a spontaneous hug and promptly burst into tears. I wasn’t used to kindess. It’s unsettling.
I felt a huge weight lifting. I finally had a plan. We were doing things. I was really relieved not to be cut open and have my intestines rearranged and to deal with the pain and accompanying discomfort.
I’m not sure, whether we’ll travel to Huntsman now. We have not heard from them and what could they tell me differently? I think, I’ll just stop resisiting and wrap my mind around this and work on being accepting. Camino NOT chemo. Well, family and friends (and myself) I sure tried. You’d have to say that. I gave it a good run. And, of course, I will seek alternate advice until all these appointments. I still have a little time until then. Hope does spring eternal.
Yesterday, the phone rang and, would you believe it was Dr. M’s office (already!) to schedule these bloodtests for May 2nd. Until then, I have time to work on me with a last ditch effort, to detox, take stuff, do acupuncture, cleansing and whatever else I can do. Maybe, just maybe… it’ll disappear.
I was telling Cameron, that this thought occured to me: When I was on the camino and walked up to the cross, offering that the tumor be taken and then when this did not happen, I failed to see that I’d already gotten my miracle. Although the tumor was not ‘gone’, it has stopped growing since October. I mean, I have 3 PET and one CT to proof this. The markers have gone down. I am grateful.
I want to go away for a few days. Have a vacation from cancer and all this intense talk and research and accomapying fear. I am calm now and feel peaceful. Another gift.