Note: Apologies for my postings being all over this site. I cannot find my string and add to it but at least Marion got me to where I can say something at least. Thnx.
January 8, 2014
PLAYING PEEK-A-BOO WITH CANCER
It’s been quite some time since I released a report, and true to the old saw, no news has been good news. I feel great except for minor gastric woes, and my blood numbers have been exemplary.
Two months ago I weighed 163, an all-time high, and I felt sluggish. So I decided to lose some weight. Method: Eat until no longer starving, then stop eating. It works! I began each morning with my favorite breakfast- DuPar’s 2 rashers bacon, 2 eggs and 2 pancakes. With 8 T. liquid butter. I am a shameless butter addict. Consuming all that butter with no gallbladder and a sliver of a pancreas may have asked for trouble. Next thing I know I’m on the scale and weigh 139 and it’s just 23 days later. I am very strong and can do gymnastic moves no one my age can. So I lost 24 pounds in 23 days- on butter and with few internal organs that process fats. Could that throw my metabolism into a loopty-loo? You bet!
I start having symptoms of fat malabsoption, so I get a blood test. Suddenly, I have very different numbers, all in the wrong direction. I am inflamed and leaking liver enzymes, but the number that gets everyone’s attention is the cancer marker, CA 19-9. It’s supposed to be below 37. Before I went to Boston, it was 123. After the surgery it went 12, 9, 6, 9, 11, 8, 5, 4, 7, 10, 15, 19.5. To have these recent successive upticks that are cusping on 20 concerned me. So I schedule a scan. This time a PET scan. CT scans show presence of things and PET scans show metabolic activity.
What scan shows what when? Had I a PET back in September of 2011, I’d have seen the one major tumor and been able to avoid two surgeries whose anesthetics boiled my brain, the choly-sys and the ERCP. But you can’t PET everyone with a tummy ache, or you would approach living in a diagnostic chamber 24/7 searching for the culprit. Even if you find him, all you did was spend time searching for him. Many times finding him won’t help anyway. On the other hand, we all know of those who had they only got their info- scans, blood tests, whatever- just a bit sooner, they’d be here today. When to do what? No one knows!
I got the results of the January 7th PET. The PET part shows nothing lighting up but my bladder where the radioactive solution went after I drank it. My gut is dark- a good thing. The CT part showed nodules there not present four months earlier. They are in the left lung, evenly distributed, the largest being 1.1 cm.
Cancer markers rising and new, fast-growing objects in the lung raise the specter of metastatic cc cancer spread to lungs years ago but too small to be seen until just now. If that’s the case, my condition is ‘treatable’ but incurable, and time is relatively short. I could have a surgeon pluck out (needle or full resection) one of the bodies to see exactly what it is, but just how much I give up to get how much useful information is something I’m still evaluating as I write.
Right now I lean towards a scan in 2-3 months. If there are more lung spots and/or they are growing, I believe that will confirm metastatic cc, and I go Bucket right then at that point. I believe that I will have under a year with no treatment (from today), and I want to maximize the good time at the beginning so I have as much of it as possible.
How would you feel if a bullet racing toward your head were 1” away? You’d feel fine. At the moment. That may be me, just peachy for now but with certain irreversible doom nearing quickly. I just don’t know. The one thing I do know: I can easily do 10 superman pushups and 7 impossible 5 step pushups because I just did them, so for the moment I am strong and my body’s happy.
I have been drafting a cancer book based on my experience, and I hope to finish it before the cancer finishes me. Let’s see who wins the race.
Love to all,
PS I just recall when I saw Master Wang for the first time in months, he rubbed over my left upper chest and said, “No good here.” He never referred to that area before. It’s where those left lung lesions are. Spooky.