Dust From Mars

This is one of those boring blog posts that is actually just a boring update with very little wit and very little creativity. But I gotta tell you, the only jokes I’m coming up with right now are the ones you probably aren’t quite ready for and my silver lining feels disingenuous right now. So on that happy note….

I had my CT scan on Tuesday morning and then a meeting with Dr. Sanders, the oncologist, to go over the results on Wednesday. I was feeling confident that the spots on my liver were no big deal. Just hemangioma’s-which are non-cancerous tangles of blood vessels that can form on the body. I was looking forward to the end of this cancer. Surgery, then radiation-reconstruction in the fall.

Well, that’s not what the scan said. It showed that the spots in my liver had shrunk. Which was my “worst-case scenario”. Luckily, the Breast Guru had offered me a worse “worst-case scenario” about a month ago so I’m kind of okay now. What it confirms is that the diagnosis is Stage IV and metastatic disease. In other words, something I will have to manage for the rest of my life. I’m pretty bummed about it. I mean, I really really really really thought that maybe, this time it was going to be only good news.

Dr. Sanders was wonderful and kind and very, very sorry to have to tell me this. He didn’t want it to be cancer either. But-sticking with the bright side-the cancer is shrinking. A lot. So for now, we stay the course.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the Breast Guru to discuss surgery. Which we are still, as far as I know, planning for the beginning of March. Then radiation. Doc says the liver tumor should continue shrinking and will eventually go away. Then I’ll be in remission. They will treat me with a medication called Tamoxifen which is a selective-estrogen-receptor modulator “that works both by decreasing factors that increase the growth of breast cells and increasing factors that decrease the growth of breast cells”-according to Wikipedia. I don’t actually get that sentence….but breast cancer is hormone fed, so the medicine will stop my production of hormones to try and starve my cancer and prevent more from growing in the future.

I’ll have to have CT scans and blood tests every 4 months or so to monitor cancer growth. And eventually the cancer might come back. According to the World Wide Web, that likelihood is pretty high, but Dr. Sanders said I could have a long life. And I feel like by the time it comes back there will probably be some newer, faster, stronger treatment like from space or something. Like dust from Mars.

Mars-red-surface
Image Courtesy of NASA

I was feeling really sorry for myself last night. Multiple glasses of wine sorry. I don’t want to go work anymore sorry. But when I woke up this morning, Zoey announced that she was sick and asked to stay home. So I think the Universe was really looking out for me! I need to take care of my babies. Ain’t nobody got time to be feeling sorry for themselves. You think these dishes are going to wash themselves? (I actually hope so, because that’s my least favorite job!)

But let’s be reasonable. I think it’s probably okay to feel a *little* sorry for myself. And I did yesterday. But, I have to move forward. This “confirmation”. It doesn’t really change that much, does it? I always knew this was a possibility, it just wasn’t one that I was seeing as a reality because it wasn’t real yet.

It’s hard to even figure out how to wrap this post up because I’m still working on pulling myself together….but I will bounce back. Don’t worry. Just give me a day or two.

 

 

 

11 thoughts on “Dust From Mars

  1. Take all the time you need. It doesn’t mean you don’t have faith. Damn, I was hoping you weren’t going to have to fight so hard either. Be pissed (the punching bag is on the way). Be human for a couple of days then Emmet will show you some new Super Hero Warrior moves. We’ve got your back on good days and not so good days. XO

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  2. Love you Maggie! You’re stronger and more positive than anyone I know! A true inspiration!! Prayers, hugs and love to you and all of your family!! xo

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  3. Maggie. Damn it. I’m so sorry. I think about you all the time–I really do–and I was hoping deeply that this would be a hard fight but not a shitty hard fight, you know? I know we don’t spend time together but still…I feel as your mom does…I hold faith for you, in you…when you hold it and especially when you don’t.

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  4. Maggie, it’s just one setback. My daughter always reminds me that it’s 2 steps forward and 1 back. She, John, lots of friends and the staff at the infusion center all encourage me. For me, also, this may be the “new normal,” and that’s something I will face. From one cancer sister to another, Carol Suter.

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