Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Doctor's Visit

Well they haven't discovered the cure for lung cancer since I got diagnosed, nor have they come up with any exciting new treatments, so my doctor visit offered no surprises. The tumors have shrunk significantly: the doctor called it a 99% remission. According to the report the lung tumor is 9mm which is really tiny and the biggest liver tumor went from 6cm (around 2 inches) to 1cm. (1cm is like the circumference of an index finger.)
This apparently a good response to the chemotherapy. I asked when the tumors typically reoccur. He said between 6 and 9 months, sometimes a year. Once in a while people stay in remission, but it is rare. There really isn't much treatment when it comes back.
His recommendations were that I go back to Fox Chase cancer center for a consult, consult with the Reading Hospital radiologist about preventative brain irradiation and come back for scans every two months.
Marty was depressed after the visit: he keeps expecting a miracle. I suffered for a moment in reality, but quickly returned to my usual state of denial. I don't feel sick and now that I have mostly recovered from the effects of chemotherapy, I find it hard to believe any of this to be true. The chemotherapy affected my hearing, so I want to balance the side effects of any treatments with how it will affect the quality of my life.
My plan is follow the doctor's recommendations, improve my diet, do yoga and exercise more consistently. I am going to try to improve something every week. I have gotten so much advice that I feel overwhelmed trying to change every thing at once. This week I want to work on getting to bed earlier, getting up earlier and establishing a morning routine. I know that sounds like three things, but the first two are necessary for the third to happen. The main part of my plan is to do the things I love as often as I can and enjoy life as much as possible.
It has been pointed out to me that maybe my blog entries are just a little to cheerful and don't reflect the seriousness of this illness. Everyone likes me to have a positive attitude, so that's what I present. Honestly, that is how I feel most of the time and I save the dark stuff for my psychologist.
At any rate, I feel well and stronger every day and will just keep trucking along.