Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 14: Gray Area

Behind today's door on the "Advent to Freedom" calendar that Nancy made for Joe, is a small cartoon of Keith Richards and the words, "ROCK IT!" We are doing our utmost to do just that, rock it, rock this whole cancer bullshit.

Today Joe finally heard from his oncologist about the results of the PET-scan. [I, of course, regret not having been on the call since my insatiable urge to take notes has therefore gone unmet.] Overall, the results are positive. The doctor was pleased.

But there is still Something on Joe's right tonsil. Those who've been following all of the gory details may remember that the first PET-scan, before Joe started chemo, showed spots beyond the big tumor in Joe's abdomen, one of which was on the right tonsil. That stubborn little bastard is apparently still hanging on.

Some good news: Joe will only have 6 rounds of chemo. Had the results of this PET-scan not been this positive, there was a chance of extending to 8 rounds. Joe was really clear that he would cry for two days straight if he wasn't done after 6. So that's some consolation.

And we're hanging on to how positive Dr. Maloney was on the phone to Joe.

But there's that Something.

After the chemo is finished, Joe will see an ENT to explore what's going on. The doctor today mentioned a biopsy.

So it's pretty gray, this zone we're in right now. Not 100% positive, and sure not 100% negative. But gray. And a little scary.

Last time Joe had chemo, the lovely nurse Susan told us how some people really only realize the full horror of what's happening to them when the chemo is over, and then they have something akin to post-traumatic stress disorder. When they aren't preoccupied with the poisoning of chemo, with the side effects and getting through them, then they have to deal with the emotional side of it.

With this news today, I do feel like we're in a different stage, one we didn't fully anticipate. I think we were really expecting 100% good news from the PET-scan. I didn't budget enough reserves for the fear that this latest sorta-news would unleash for me, for the scariness of this gray area.

We're still rocking it (thanks, Nancy, for the daily inspiration and reminders of your love), but god damn, we'll be so glad when this is over with.

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