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I should write an update about the states of various cancers.

In his latest CT scan, my father had a new spot on his liver. It was probably a spot that had been identified previously, that shrunk during the first two rounds of chemotherapy to the degree that the surgeon couldn't find it during that first, invasive liver surgery (the second liver surgery was an ablation procedure, performed "shish-kebab style." Both of these procedures happened after the original semi-colon surgery, so he's been getting poked and prodded for a couple of years now). Apparently when cancer appears a third time under circumstances like this it is designated "incurable," which is not easy news to have sink in, even if it isn't entirely clear what's going on. He's still in the process of sorting out the next steps, which will involve meeting with a different liver surgeon because of course his health insurance has switched hospitals between the previous surgery and this one. There will probably be more chemotherapy. The long-term side effects of chemotherapy and the short-term experience leave a lot to be desired.

Then there's my friend and former neighbor and stupendous cat lady extraordinaire, G, in Arizona. She is on her fourth cancer. Cancers two through four have followed each other in fairly rapid succession and are of a somewhat unusual squamous cell carcinoma form. Cancer #3 occurred in a lymph node and was completely eradicated via radiation therapy, which sounded horrendous and also severely impacted saliva production and her sense of taste. She's on a liquid diet now. Cancer #4 has resurfaced nearby, on her tongue and in surrounding tissue, and has been incredibly devastating from a psychological perspective because it will require intensive and disfiguring surgery. She was hoping to be able to go the immunotherapy route, which has sounded fairly promising for her case, but her insurance wouldn't cover it this time around. So instead she's doing some intense chemotherapy in the hopes of reducing the magnitude of the disfiguring surgery. The one small comforting change for this case as compared to the previous one is that she has switched to a comprehensive care center that even manages to drive the cancer patients to and from their treatments, in a limo that is stuffed full of emergency barf bags, just in case.

The only thought I can manage to have about everything is, life itself is quite the incurable disease. The ghosts of two friends from Arizona still often follow me around, in as good a way as they can, given that both died too early.

On that note, I should get back to work. I have manuscripts to write and crickets to poke.

Comments

( 3 remarks — Remark )
gfrancie
May. 28th, 2016 09:40 pm (UTC)
cancer is that guest that no one invited and sometimes you can't push them out the door. Which is a real bitch.
bluepapercup
May. 28th, 2016 11:19 pm (UTC)
Sigh. Life.
shellynoir
May. 29th, 2016 07:19 pm (UTC)
"The ghosts of friends still often follow me around, in as good a way as they can, given that they died too early."

xoxoxoxoxo

( 3 remarks — Remark )

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