I had the PET/CT scan yesterday afternoon. Then today, Dr. S presented my case at the tumor conference. This afternoon, Beth (nurse practitioner) called to tell me what they recommended. First of all, the scan showed that the cancer is now located in a line of lymph nodes from my neck to my abdomen. This lymph chain runs along my aorta, but it has not invaded my aorta. It is just in the nodes. There is also a suspicious spot in my lower right lung, but they think it's just inflammation. I have a feeling it is cancer, too, can't tell why, just a feeling. She said the recommendation from the board is to have radiation and chemo. I have an appointment on Thursday to meet with the radiation doctor. I have never had radiation before, but mom has. She's been sort of paving the way, so a lot of this isn't new to me. Thanks, Mom! I'm actually glad to be getting the radiation because it is supposed to help with the pain. And my neck and shoulder have really been bothering me. I almost want to wear my arm in a sling to help relieve the pressure the tumor is causing.
As for the chemo, the recommendation is to repeat the Taxol/Carboplatin that I had originally. Since my recurrence happened more than 12 months ago, the original treatment is considered "successful" and is expected to "work again". The problem is, my definition of "successful" and "work" are apparently not the same as theirs. Right now I am feeling like those 6 rounds of chemo I had in 2007 were a total waste. All those toxins and poisons I had injected into my body, all those days spent in misery on my couch, all those months lost, my hair, my eyebrows, and all the things I can't even remember, I don't want to remember . . . I got through it all because it was supposed to be my guarantee that I'd never have to do it again. Now, I have to do it again.
Dr. S would like me to start my treatments as soon as possible. But after my appt with the radiation dr on Thursday, I made an appt to meet with Dr. S and discuss other options. He is a very open and understanding dr and he gets that I need to be on board with whatever treatment I get. He would even suggest other drs if I decide to get a second opinion. Right now I feel like I can talk with him about my options and he will give me the best choices. And if it turns out to be Taxol/Carbo again, so be it. I'll do whatever I have to do, of course. I just want to be around long enough to see my girls grow up. If that means a long, drawn-out cancer battle, I'll do it and I'll try my best not to let it affect my family. That's the worst part of cancer, it's got a ripple effect.
So, more news will be coming on Thursday. I'll write again as soon as something is decided.