Saturday, February 13, 2010

On Second Thought...

On second thought, the doctors found too many potential risks to radiating all of the remaining tumor spots. While I'm a little disappointed, I'm actually kind of relieved. There are so many dangers associated with radiation, it will be good to spare my brain, heart, lungs, liver, and every other organ that would have felt the burn, even if it means lengthening the road to remission.

I'm still looking at 31 days of radiation on my arms, starting pretty much immediately after my last chemo. I don't know what it means that the other tumor spots aren't going to be targeted, but it gives my bones some extra time to heal, so when radiation is finished and we do some more scans, it will probably leave us with a more accurate picture of what's really left. I'm slightly concerned that the rest will allow the tumor to recover and start growing again, but after fourteen rounds of chemo it has to be tired like me, right? And if it does start to spread again, we'll go after it. But hopefully my daily coaxing and pleading has convinced the beast to stay down.

When I think about it, a lot has changed over the past few months. First and foremost, the tumor has continued to respond to chemo. We compared the scan from October with the scan from last week, and the improvement is really kind of remarkable. I always feel like I'm going to jinx it when I say things like that, but it's true.

I kicked the morphine I was on a while ago, despite having started with an unruly dosage. I go out with my friends on occasion, though it's hard sometimes to resist indulging my temptations and urges to misbehave. At this point, though, I've stayed on track for so long, it just doesn't make sense to give in now. I also think I've regained a lot of the self-control I felt like I had lost before. Most of the time, I still don't feel like this is my normal body, but at least I no longer hallucinate, wake up in the middle of the night to urinate in the garbage can, or wait for a small miracle every time I want to get turned on. I'm two or so weeks away from sushi, and even though I know the misery that awaits me those first few days, after this next round of chemo my body will simply continue to improve. I won't get better to a point and then have to drag myself back and do it all over again. That also means I should have hair before too long, and I've begun to grow tired of seeing the light shining off my head when I look in the mirror.

My doctor reminds me that any way I look at it, I'm going to have a long-term relationship with medicine. But hey, all things considered, that's a lot better than not having any relationship with it at all. At least it means I'm going to be around for a little while longer. I'm looking at a much easier time without chemo, and I figure that as long as I keep heading in the direction I'm already going, my situation can't get worse. I already try to take things as they come, on a daily basis, and the only expectations I plan to build are of myself and the things I want to accomplish.

A long time ago, I said it's hard to find progress in stability due to a general inability to be patient. But now, at least for me, I think stability means I've made a lot of progress. Stability means I can keep looking ahead with confidence, knowing with at least some certainty that there's going to be another day to fight.

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