Today’s Spa visit went fine. It’s tough, though, watching that transformation. We go in bubbly, joking, smiling, vibrating with life. We leave sullen, slow, and feeling pretty miserable. It happens all in the span of 90 minutes as they drip the CPT-11 into her little body. And it was doubly tough this time around because Maggie has been so, so alive the last week because of the two-week chemo break. There was more life in her to drain away.
It’s hard to describe the transformation. I suspect it’s hard to imagine without seeing it first hand, although I don’t really recommend it. It hurts the heart. At risk of dating myself, it reminds me of watching the essence being drained out of a Gelfling by the evil Skeksis*. What’s left is a hollowed-out, nearly soulless shell of my Maggie. And this we do purposefully… to make her better.
*The Dark Crystal, circa 1982
The visit with Dr. Loukas was good. We talked about the PET scan results, which he was pleased with. The tumors in Maggie’s liver continue to abate. He thinks that he may take her off the CPT-11 come October, still. Maggie was happy but, as I’ve explained before, taking Maggie off chemo is a tough call and has even tougher implications. He really hopes that her tumors stay in check for a while after he stops the CPT-11. There’s just no way of knowing.
I also showed him the article from the NY Times. Surprisingly, he’d not seen it. But he said he’d be happy to have us go back to MD Anderson to speak directly with Dr. Curly or to anywhere else we’d like to go. In fact, he’s spoken personally to Dr. Curly about our case but it’s just a tough, tough call to decide it surgery would be of any use whatsoever. The pervasiveness of The Cancer in Maggie’s liver is problematic, from a surgical perspective. What do you cut out? Apparently, the answer ain’t as simple as “Duh, the tumors!”
He said one of the main concerns is hepatic failure (doc talk for “liver failure”) at which we would pretty much be done. It’s that whole “do no harm” bit again. Darn oaths.
Maggie’s feeling pretty rotten. Neither pizza nor milk and cookies has been very effective. So, hot baths, puppy snuggles, and a little mindless TV while we wait for it to pass.