| MONDAY, JULY 16, 2007 09:27 AM, CDT |
We have returned from our trip to Sloan. Our news is not good. We met with Dr. O'Reilly and she went through my entire history, treatments, etc. She advised us that what I have is a very rare form of cancer. (Yes, we knew that.) With that, there are no studies or specific treatments outlined for this cancer.
It came time for questions. First question; prognosis. She looked me in the eyes and told me I have incurable cancer. Well, her word was uncurable, but I now know the proper term is incurable. That led to my next question of how long? She explained that I am treatable, just not curable. Okay, treatable for 5 years or 20 years? They really don't know these answers, but if she had to guess her answer was 5 years.
She continued to explain that I will require chronic treatment. This means I will be living with chemotherapy treatments for the rest of my life. I will be allowed short breaks for vacations, etc., Of course, this all depends on how well and long my body can tolerate all of these chemicals and the side effects that occur with them.
Basically, it comes down to prolongation of life with acceptable quality. With new drugs being created for other squamous cell cancers and phase I studies, there is hope that this news is not as ominous as it appears right now.
My plan is reduce to stress, maintain a healthy diet, exercise and live with a positive attitude. The stronger I am as a person the more tolerable treatments will be.
It is overwhelming. Not so much in a doom and gloom sense. More in a 'what do I do with the rest of my life' sense.
Right now, all I ask is for your prayers specifically for today. You know how they say it's the people closest to you that learn last? We have not shared this news with Eileen. I just couldn't talk to her about it over the phone. How does one explain to an 18 year old that we have a lot of life to live in compressed time?