Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cancer Hearts Me

I'm so completely out of it that I just realized I'd updated my FB status and not written here.

The enlarged lymph node is malignant. So, like, the Cancer is back. Whoopee! All I know as of today—that I can lay out in simple black and white after 3 Xanax and a chocolate heart from Berkeley—is the following:

1. Treatment protocol will most likely be two oral forms of chemo/Herceptin whatever pills. Tykerb and Xeloda. The most important thing? No hair loss.

Otherwise, like I just told Dana, "Are you fucking kidding? If I had to lose my hair again I'd be making my Bucket List." If fucking Cancer thinks it can take away my Oribe, clearly it has no idea who it's messing with, again. There are also very promising BRCA related new treatments in FDA approval stage right now. PARP Inhibitors. Schwartz was concerned after he felt me Thursday, and got in touch with Dr. Norton at Sloan already.

2. The reason docs don't tell you to go around doing self lymph node neck exams is that you can't feel them until they're, well, big enough to feel, which is fairly big.

Five weeks ago, this particularly enlarged one was not detectable to the touch. I called Chad (Acupuncturist) today, and he confirmed that despite the extensive work he did in those areas, he felt nothing either.
Meaning, the one they biopsied is the largest node, so the other ones—yes, apparently there are heaps of infected nodes in my neck—are I suppose what you would liken to microscopic somethings. Also, blood work (tumor markers) picked up nothing unusual in the tests this month.

3. We don't know yet whether it's anywhere else in the body, aka whether I'm completely fucked or not, until after doing a PET scan. The PET scan is Wednesday. We'll have the results Thursday afternoon. Mom's here; Dad is flying in Thursday morning.

4. Doc Schwartz was shocked. So, so surprised and upset, and he'd certainly never seen me cry before. Or scream or bawl or yell cliches like, "Why? I don't understand?" Pathetic, so unwriterly of me. He's always had good news for me. This is yet another 'unusual' case—would we really expect anything less from me? It's unusual that it came back on the right side, when my tumor was on the left. It's unusual that I'm fucking 34—okay, yes, I just turned 30fucking4—got it at 31 and was only Cancer-free for a year and a half. Basically, only because I was on Herceptin. It literally came back less than six months after stopping Herceptin.

I guess that I now have to accept that I'm going to be on Cancer pills for the rest of my life just like head pills. Chemo and SSRIs in the mornings along with coffee. Seroquel and Klonopin at night with Tykerb. Awesomeness. Isn't life just fucking great? Isn't it? Fucking brilliant. Happy happy joy joy, fuck you Cancer. Fuck you. Seriously, instead of a collective "Ohmmmmm," can we all just scream a big "FUCK YOU, CANCER?!"

Hey ladies—gotten your mammograms yet? No? Now what are you waiting for.