Yesterday's P.E.T. went fine. Well, lets put it this way. Although the technician DID try to find the vein in the center of my arm, and failed as no one has ever been able to get that one, he was able to access the old faithful vein in my wrist. I assure you, it is far more painful there, but when your veins are as bad as mine, you take what you can get.
Today, however, my oncologist called. Not a good sign when your doc calls you the day after you've had the test. Indeed, the suspicious lesion on my pelvis (the acetabulum) has gotten bigger. In addition, since my last P.E.T. in late September, there are new lesions on my sternum, shoulder, ribs and vertebrae. Given the rise in my tumor markers, this doesn't surprise me.
Was I hoping for a negative finding? Of course. Is my prognosis completely black? No. According to my doc, there have been a number of new drugs developed which might help and give me many more years. In addition, a number of new chemotherapies have been coming on the market which are good or have been very promising.
One of the things which surprises me the most is my reaction to all of this. No tears. I'm not even really upset. I think that is because I know at present that while death stalks me, it is not any more imminent than it was yesterday. I handled all of the struggle with coming to terms with my death when I was told I had stage IV cancer 13 years ago.
Earlier this month, I went to the funeral of an old family friend, Margaret Norton. When we lived in Bronson, we did lots of things with the Norton family. The oldest son, who was a couple of years older than my brother, married a woman who died of breast cancer in 2006. As she was dying, she said to Margaret, her mother-in-law, that she regretted not being able to live to a great age and to be a woman like Margaret. I can understand this completely. As a child, and then later as a young woman, I always thought of myself as growing old. Maybe I still will, although the likely hood of that seems more remote as I continue down this journey. I think I'm OK with that.
I do know that when I had cancer first in 1994 when my daughter was 15 months old, I prayed to be able to live until she was older. Then again, just 4 years later, I was praying the same thing. I still would like to be around to see her graduate from college. I certainly am most concerned as to the impact this will have on her life as I feel that things for a teenager and young adult are still a bit tenuous and mom is still needed even if there are maelstroms in between times. I want her to be able to face things without thinking about me or worrying about me.
Tonight, when I told her, she cried a little, and snuffled something about how she was nasty to me....but I think she'll be ok. We'll get through this. Even though the tree seems to be a bit barren, it has budded out now, and leaves will come and go and come again. Whether I fall like those leaves now, or years from now is rather immaterial. I have no control over that. I can just as easily have been killed by the idiot on 571 today who pulled out in front of me as not. I can live with cancer a few or many more years....I have no control over that. I can enjoy tomorrow for what it is...and the next day after that...and the day after that? We'll see. One step at a time. One moment in time.