Well it’s been an interesting 3 weeks since the Cancerversary blog. If you read it, you will know that it was largely focused on being resigned to this life, letting go of what’s next and just living my life where I am. And then things shifted. Isn’t that always the way it is? How many stories have you heard of women who tried and tried to get pregnant only to adopt and THEN get pregnant? Or someone waiting and looking for love only to find it after “giving up”? So yeah, I’m reminded that it’s only when we let go that things can change. So this is mostly a medical update, with a request for all your mojo, prayers, love, and light.
A bit of background – my tumor marker number has been down in the 10 range really since I got through the first 2 rounds of chemo back in 2014. It went up some after surgery (to be expected) but then came right back down. The CA125 isn’t very reliable and not a great indicator for some people, and that could be true for me. But my answer has always been that while I might have some spots that show up on a scan, I believe it’s just not “active cancer” – it’s not growing or spreading. But Dr. Benigno has kept me in treatment because for the last year, I have 2 lymph nodes in my pelvic area that are “questionable”. And at every appointment he reminds me that he has taken out lymph nodes that were very large and lit up on a PET scan, only to find they were not cancerous. But they are in an area that he always felt was too risky for surgical removal. However, at my last appointment in late July, he told me about a new doctor in town (previously at MD Anderson) that specializes in surgery in that area. He was going to consult with him and let me know if he thought he could remove these lymph nodes. He seemed pretty confident because he canceled my upcoming Avastin infusions (you have to be off of it for 6 weeks before any type of surgery as it is somewhat of a blood thinner). And then the waiting. And waiting. Finally last week the news came back, yes, Dr. Abdalla thinks he can do this. I have my consult appointment with him tomorrow, and a follow-up with Dr. Benigno on Monday. I hope to know more then. I feel sure I’ll have to have a scan before a final decision is made since my last one was back in March.
But this is huge. If they take these out and discover they are NOT cancer, I am truly cancer free and likely taken out of treatment – although I suspect he will want to keep me on one of the PARP inhibitors that significantly reduces recurrence risk. If they take them out and discover they are cancer, I am still cancer free – my guess is he’ll add a round of chemo follow-up of some sort, but still, cancer free.
It’s exciting. It sounds weird to hope for surgery, but that’s where I am, although I am trying to prepare for a different outcome in case it doesn’t happen for some reason. So I’m requesting that you please continue to send your powerful thoughts my way – that the next steps are clear and the universe is conspiring for my complete and total healing. It’s ok just to pray for a successful surgery too. I’ll keep you posted when I have some answers. I was going to wait and post everything after I knew what was happening, then my bookclub girls reminded me how powerful it is to have all of your energy focused with me and for me. So thank you Jana, and thank you all for your unwavering support and love!