To read the most complete version of my story, please read Part 1 as well as this part, Part II.
Here, I am writing a continuation after CT scan has shown more lesions, growth in
at least one liver lesion, and a possible lesion in a new location (with follow-up
testing recommended.) This while receiving Genzar and Taxol. Also, yesterday I
had a turbt (and am at home, with a catheter.) I don't know the exact dimensions of the calsified tumor removed, but it was a lot smaller than the "softball" sized one removed last year.)
I write with a subjective description of my almost-a-year since diagnosis.
From March-July, I lived alone in a vibrant city (Boston) — my son lived across town, but works hard at his career and was available only when I said it was essential or for socializing evenings and weekends. I walked 25 minutes uphill for chemotherapy and later (daily) for radiotherapy. I found a wonderful support group at a Wellness Community and we still keep in touch. I found a beautiful park where I walked and which used as a muse for my photography and poetry efforts. I went to the dress rehesrsal of the famous 4th of July Boston Pops 4th of July Concert and other arts events. I only felt really bad about 5 days in that period and no bad days included "pain" just extreme fatigue.
From August until now, I have been teaching college. I've only missed two classes in all. (I got good student evaluations, too. Last semester's students knew about the cancer; I haven't told this semester's students quite yet.)
I've also had the thrill of a son's marriage to a lovely lady with three
children and have been given the gift of "grandchildren" one of my most heartfelt desires. I organized the rehearsal dinner and gave a speech and blessing at it myself.
And: my husband and I went on a cruise, I gave a paper at a national convention,
I did a public poetry reading, I took the whole family to Boston to be together
the week before Christmas — I am taking one day at a time and feel blessed to feel so well — even today after a turbt yesterday. (I'm at home with a catheter
I'm at another juncture in my treatment and need to make some decisions within the next week or so. I am terrified, but I feel well today.
There is a big disconnect between my objective pathology/imaging and my subjective wellness and enjoyment of life. Oh, how I want to survive! But taking it a day at a time, I've had over 300 days of wellness in the past almost-a-year since my diagnosis. And today is one of them. That is 300 blessings.
I hope that I'll be able to have testing to show what chemotherapy, if any, will
shrink my tumor. I also hope to get a consultation at another major cancer center soon — preferably from a physician who specializes in rare bladder cancers (mine is tcc with sarcomatoid features). I need to make those hopes known to my current
team within about a week. I would welcome any suggestions from you who read my story.
Terrified but feeling well today — Susan (mssmr)