You might as well hear it straight from the source. I had an appointment with Dr. Moore, my oncologist, today. The discussion was not uplifting.
About 5 weeks ago, I reported to her that I was exhausted. She decided that the chemotherapy had worn me down. My therapy consists of taking 6 pills a day for a week, followed by no pills for a week, and so on. On the weeks I am taking pills, I get infused once a week on Monday. On weeks Ido not take any pills, I do not get an infusion.
Dr. Moore suggested that my cancer markers were down and that I could take a vacation from the infusions for a month, but that I should keep on with the pills. Her theory was that the vacation would allow my body time to recover from the poison they pump into me. If all went well, my cancer markers would stay the same or go down. Or they might go up, which is not good, since that means the cancer is active and being fought by the infusion. The tumor is definitely there, but there is no point in going looking for it, as no significant treatment is available, anyway.
Unfortunately, during the vacation, my cancer markers went from 350 to 498, which means that my liver tumor is doing its evil work deep in my liver, as expected. So, I am back on chemo next Monday to hopefully bring the marker number down. She did not think it was promising.
For the first time, she brought up “the end.” She explained that the tumor would grow and the pain would increase. The tumor would take most of the nutrients from my food and I would gradually lose weight. This is already happening. Eventually, the fatigue that I now am experiencing will increase to the point I am bedridden and will require nursing and hospice care.
She told me I should die peaceably and probably as I sleep an exhausted sleep. The pain will be manageable with the drugs.
I asked her if I had one last summer in me. She responded by saying, “Do I look like a gypsy?” For the first time, she seemed downbeat. When pressed, she said that the summer was not out of the question, but it would be dicey. She could make no promises.
So that is where I am. I am not surprised by this information. I am still hoping for one last summer, my last hurrah, if you will. As I have said before, I am going to ride this down to the ground. We shall see.