Thursday, 2 October 2008

What the Oncologist said, Part IV

Sunflowers from Julie

I got a beautiful photo through the post yesterday, from Lesley. It was a moment caught on film, as the sun begins to rise over the sea, gently throwing its light over jagged, snow covered crags softening them. On the back she had written, "It's always darkest before the dawn." And she was right.

The dark bit has been the last few weeks, carrying the heartbreaking news of what was happening in my body, wondering what on earth the oncologist was going to say to me. Would he just send me home to die, I asked myself, and if so how would I deal with that one? But the dawn did come, and things were not as bad as I had thought. (It's still not fantastic, of course, but better than the worse case scenario above.

The oncologist said:

1. The lung tumor has reduced, and the lymph node is no longer visible! For me this means that the radiotherapy was not a waste of time, and that means a lot psychologically.
2. The 2 newbies are small (17mm the largest), but he used the word virulent which probably isn't great. The liver can still function as long as 50% of it is clear though.
3. I have the option of more chemotherapy (Taxotere) or possibly a new tablet called Tarceva.
4. I don't think he's thinking of curing me, rather keeping me alive as long as he can. If I can make 5 years I stand a good chance of making it a lot longer. I've already done a year.
5. The miracle alkalising powder/liquid zeolite seems to be a hoax/sham from reading the forums where loads of people have tried it and it hasn't done a thing.
6. He said changing my diet to a more healthy one is something I can try, as long as I don't get so miserable with food I hate that I stop eating!
7. The glimmer of hope - People have survived this, and worse. Okay, so the percentage is miniscule, but it is not impossible.
8. I intend to beat this and get my body and my life back, starting today with some horse riding and Bowen Therapy. Oh and lots of water, herbal teas, and stuff that looks like it came from the bottom of a bird cage!!!

Thanks again to everyone who has texted/called/visited/etc., and just generally supported me through what has been a somewhat, er... difficult time!


Lily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Lisa, I think you've dealt with the last few weeks amazingly well. And such good news that all the radiotherapy-related misery was worth it in the end. It sounds as your oncologist is really on the case, which is also good news. Enjoy the riding and the Bowen therapy. (((((hugs)))))

(sorry that last comment was me - I'm on a friend's computer and it came up as being from her - I thought that might be confusing!)

Debs said...

Your friend is so right, it certainly is darkest before the dawn.

I'm glad that your oncologist has given you much better news than you were expecting.

Enjoy the riding and the Bowen therapy. X

JJ said...

Hey there's good news in there. Keep on with the postive outlook because it's definitely helping.

Have fun with the horses.

Caroline said...

Hugs honey, lots of them.

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Hi again! When I had cancer (that's in the pluperfect tense) 14 years ago, I found that, when I talked about it to people, more people related positive, surviving stories than not–first important statistic.
I also ended up meeting some people, including a friend of a friend who was a young woman who'd had lung cancer. The younger one gets cancer, the more dangerous it can be and, as you know lung and liver cancers can get people even more concerned for their longevity, compared to easier cancers (try making a list of bits you wouldn't mind being cut off!) Despite these forebodings, she was very much alive and clear of cancer several years after the op–second useful statistic.
And, with regard to statistics and probabilities: I was very good at maths at school and could do probability calculations but never really understood them philosophically. I've never been one to win competitions and when my surgeon told me that I had a 50/50 chance and otherwise 18 months, I hadn't high hopes, from a perspective of probability. Even if the odds are 99% against, you do realise that one person has to survive to make those stats work ... and that just might be you!
I hope you appreciate my off-the-wall view on this but I talk as a member of a special club–cancer survivors–which I hope you'll be joining very soon!

Tam said...

Hello, I landed here from Debs blog. Your uplifting post is very humbling and puts my comparitively little problems into perspective.

I wish you lots of good things and will drop by to say hi again.

Mistlethrush said...

Hi Lisa, I also think you are coping amazingly well. Keep up the riding and the other things you want to do. Good to see you've hit half way with the novel.

Jon M said...

Yay Lisa! Keep on keeping on! Enjoy the horsing around and the bowen therapy stuff too. Thinking of you. Keep writing, keep evrything! :)

clairesgarden said...

glad to hear the radiotherapy had good results, not so glad to hear there are problems else where. but your 'team' have found it and will keep it under observation from now on which has to be better than and undetected problem going unoticed till its too bad to treat.
hope you can fit in as much happy horseing as you can what with getting off to the gym too... the bowen therapy sounds great, I'm currently thinking again about accupuncture for pain control, but in the past have one very good pratitioner but more recently one quite bad, so its put me off a bit.
thinking of you
many blessings