So. I'm sure some have been wondering what I am feeling since the last round of IL-2. Because, after all, I don't need a scan to tell me what is going on with the tumors I can feel.
After the first two rounds of treatment, I could feel all tumors melt away, and none of those have come back. However, there were always new tumors in new places.
This time there were two I didn't get rid of. The one on my back that stabbed me one horrible Monday, and one in the arm pit. I didn't know they were still there when I got back from the hospital, everything was surrounded in fluid (so much water at the end that I earned some new stretch marks).
Two days after I got home, I developed a sever case of the hives. It was Memorial Day weekend, so the office was closed. I decided to stay up all night and make sure I didn't start having trouble breathing. This was no problem, as I cannot sleep after the hospital stays anyhow. No sleeping pill can touch me after being fed Morphine, Demerol, and Dilaudid (in the same hour) for a week. I think I go through a little opiate withdrawal the weekend I get home. Anyways, my body developed some pretty serious, itchy welts (not sure why). And as I itched, I felt a few small, hard lumps. Under my ribs, on top of them, on my sternum, in the breast, and another in the arm pit.
Could I have had even just a week to believe that this fight may be over? I was so sick, could I at least recover first? Does this disease have no mercy?
The house smelled of discouragement for a few days. But you can only live in that stench for so long. We picked ourselves up and are moving forward.
I kept a pretty close eye on them, and finally called the Dr. last week to report. My Dr. was at a conference, but the Nurse Practitioner thought we should wait a bit and see if they don't shrink. As she put it, it's a little too early to peek. She reminded me that with immunotherapies sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.
I am actually typing in Boston tonight. The kids are breathing heavily in the bed next to me, tuckered out from our first day of adventure. Josh is at a conference here for a few days, and to obey our explore America rule, we are going to sneak in New York City and D.C. while we are back east. We used almost all our sky miles to get here, which has been stressing me out (I have lots of trips planned in the back of my mind), but it took only one glimpse of the sea, and the look on my kids faces as they rode the subway for the first time, to know this was the perfect use of our miles.
I will push for scans when I get home on the 20th. Best case scenario, we see only what I can feel. The liver and bones are still improving, and that puts us better than where we started in January. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a possibility. We have definitely seen results with the IL-2.
Cancer has broken the rules of summer. It doesn't know how strict or stubborn I can be. It will die. The punishment fits the crime.