Later this month Maggie, alone, will be off to see the wizards at MD Anderson again. They will poke, prod and scan her to render their verdict. The question on the table: Is the new treatment working?
Months ago we made a really tough decision to trade length of time for chance for a cure. Since then, we’ve been paying the price every two weeks. Her treatments are more frequent and are getting tougher. The new side effects continue to increase in intensity and this last round was tougher just in general, for some reason. We’re guessing Dr. Loukas wanted to kick it up a notch knowing that the MDA visit was just around the corner. Don’t know but Tues – Friday was tough. Hopefully today she’ll pick up some.
Another facet of suckiness is that this new treatment sucks away even more of our limited time we have together. Maggie is forced to spend about three to four days now pretty much down recovering every two weeks. Let’s total it up for fun. One full day in The Spa (usually 5 – 7 hours-ish), 48 hour carrying her Chemo Buddy, plus an additional two days of just feeling like hell. That’s five days out 14 days she’s under the icky hammer that is chemo. That’s 35% down time. Basically, that’s like never getting weekends with your honey – just the weeks. (For comparison, her previous cocktail, XOLOX, was at about 24% down time – 5 days for every 21 days.)
Despite that, Maggie’s still been going to work and doing great things for her clients. She’s having fun still although she wishes she had more energy. But she says she definitely has time for more clients. She just needs to find them. 😉 Isn’t that a lawyer’s eternal goal?
At MD Anderson, what we are waiting on is the scans. They’ll complete another set of CT scans (hopefully at PET scan) which will tell us if the tumors have grown, stayed the same, or shrunk. We are hoping for the shrinking, please. We’ll know more on the 30th. But it’s top of mind here at the Weaver household.
Dr. Loukas even lectured us a little about what to do if Dr. Curley ok’d the surgery. He also warned Maggie that it was not to be taken lightly. There’d be a very large scare running crossways from hip-bone to hip-bone. And the recovery, he said it will be tough, just like her last surgery. Expect at least 4 – 5 days in the hospital and a good two weeks of just tough. Complete recovery in about 2 months or so.
Of course, we asked if we’d get much warning or would it be a “ok, surgery tomorrow morning!” He thinks we’d be in control of when as long as it was within a week or so. Maybe while most people are watching the Super Bowl we’ll be watching Maggie recover. Rockin’! A much better show, in my opinion.
Now, temper every bit of that discussion with a very real statistical likelihood that the chemo has done absolutely no good and, in fact, the tumors have been growing. There’s a real chance. But we are focused on the good possibilities.
The most likely scenario is that the tumors have shrunk but not enough to make her eligible. Plain and simple. But even that will be good news. We never turn down a shrinking tumor. But, I’d sure love to have a “wow! They are really close!” vs. a “yeah, they’ve shrunk a bit but there’s a long way to go.”
Thursday we celebrated our One year Cancerversary with a few close friends, champagne and cake. One year of this. Wow. Maggie and I continue to be so thankful for all our family, friends (and new friends) who have helped us maintain sanity during all this. A year ago, when we first got the news it was you, our friends, who caught us as we fell backwards half unconscious from the blow. Still today it’s you, our friends, who continue to steady our walk when our knees get shaky.
Thank you for standing behind while we continue on The Great Cancer Adventure!