Monday, June 20, 2011

Cancer Strikes Back

It wasn't supposed to be this way.  Last year's cancer diagnosis was tough, but the surgery was likely curative and any follow up treatment (I opted for chemo) would finish the job if any cancer cells were still around.  That's how it was supposed to work.

And I've spent the last year getting chest x-rays every 3 months, blood work more often then that, and I needed a follow up CT scan after a year.  This month was the 1 year anniversary, and last week on June 14th, 2011, I had that follow up scan.

Unfortunately just after taking the exam the doctor called to tell me there was a tumor in my abdomen, exactly where you'd expect to see cancer come back if it was going to, and that I needed more tests and consults immediately.

We spent a miserable weekend worrying and telling friends and family that the cancer was likely back, but otherwise didn't know anything.  Today we saw both the radiologist and oncologist, and it's sort of a good news/bad news situation.

Bad news:  I do have cancer again.

Good news:  It is treatable and the prognosis is again excellent.

I also, again, have treatment options.  Radiation therapy or (a different) chemo.  Last time chemo was my preference, it was just one (albeit large) dose of chemo that seemed to have less severe potential long term side effects.  This time, however, radiation appeals the most.  The chemo I would have to take would be much more potent, much more often.  Almost daily for two months strait.

The radiation won't be fun either, but it is 3 weeks of daily radiation at a dose that's lower than most other cancers require.

I'm still digesting the news so I don't have much to add, but I expect to get through this just as I did before.  Expect better (and more frequent) posts in the coming weeks.

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