3 months. It doesn’t sound like much time. Approximately 90 days…or 12 weeks…or 2,160 hours. Just a short moment in the game of life. Since I was diagnosed 2 years and 9 months ago (but I’m not counting)…I have measured my life in three month increments. For a cancer patient like me, my typical schedule is to get a CT scan, see my doctor for results, she decides if I stay on the current course of treatment or make a change, live my life for three months, then repeat. For most of the last two and a half years, I have gone in for chemo every two weeks. Occasionally I get a respite for 3 or 4 weeks, but most times it is scheduled for twice per month.
In July, I had a procedure called Y-90. It is a similar procedure to an angioplasty but instead of entering an artery to the heart, the doctor travels to the liver. Tiny glass or resin beads filled with the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-90 are placed inside the blood vessels that feed a tumor. This blocks the supply of blood to the cancer cells and delivers a high dose of radiation to the tumor while sparing normal tissue.
So, I am finally getting a chemo break. In my latest CT scan, there were no new spots, and my big hairy liver tumor appears to have shrunk by a bit over a centimeter. My doctors and nurses said to have a Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year because I AM NOT GOING BACK UNTIL JANUARY 4th! It doesn’t sound like much, but to me, it is a miracle. So I am going to continue to live the party and take what I can get. I may even grow some hair! In the past, I would waste time looking forward to the weekend… or the next big vacation…or summer, but now I am happy to be up and out in the world. I won’t go so far as to say cancer has been a blessing (I am not that much of an optimist) but my outlook is definitely clearer. Small things don’t bother me, and I am grateful for everyday happiness. Oh, and by the way, we adopted another dog, because WHY NOT? Who doesn’t find joy in that! Keep living the party, my friends.