5-2-19 Radiation Week

Things have gone as pretty much as expected this week.  Every day since Monday, Jodell and I travel to Up State Cancer Center for my 15 minute zap.  My last one, until further notice, is tomorrow.  The treatments are quick, they don’t hurt, I haven’t felt sick….nothing.  So far this is what is most perplexing.  They tell me what I have is really bad but the treatments seem to be, almost a non-event.  I have had 1 immunotherapy treatment and, again, no nasty side effects.  I’ll certainly accept these conditions but my rule of thumb is that good medicine has to taste bad!  Anyway, radiation ends tomorrow and my next immunotherapy treatment is in 2 weeks.

The roughest part this week is the continued recovery from the week before.  I am still run down and sleep a lot and move gingerly when I do.  I appear to be about 6 months pregnant from the blood in my torso from the liver bleed.  Of course, you mothers know what comes with that; back muscle stress, etc.  Doctor says this will take about 2 months to get back to normal.

Finally, I had an appointment with my oncologist on Tuesday.  Besides the normal progress / game plan discussion, I asked him a question about a comment he had made early on.  His comment was:  If this had gone untreated, I would have been gone in about 3 months.  I said now that we have a handle on this and treatment is underway, what do you think my projected life span is now?  His answer:  James, optimistically I think you have 2 maybe 3 years to live.  Whoa!  was my thought.  Up until then I had assumed the goal in the fight was to one day be cancer free.  Now I think it is to extend the quality of life.  However, I am not giving up the cancer free hope.  They continue to tell me how rare this pathology is and put their heads together with the nation’s best in figuring out how to treat it.  So how do they really know how it will respond to treatment? 

Keeping the Faith – James


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