We will scan again after Christmas and see what's next. There is a chance these drugs get rid of my tumors all together. In most, the benefits (even the complete disappearance of tumors) are short lived.
And so I am a little confused as to how I approach what time I have left. It could be years (please!). It could be much shorter. I really have no way of knowing. I would say that most people I have followed who have taken the BRAF drugs usually live about a year. There are stories that don't follow this narrative (thank goodness), and we now have more drugs to try after I fail these then they have had in the past. And of course everyone's responses are just so different, I don't know how fair it is to compare.
But sometimes the reality that I have tried all the best treatments on this tumor hits hard. I wish I had a strong gut feeling here as to what is going to happen. Even if I did, I think my gut feeling has been wrong so many times that I just don't trust it like I used to. I've been mourning that loss of trust since my scans. I really, truly believed that my cancer was on it's way out.
I've been in this what-to-do-with-my-time-left quandary before. There is an answer. I think Longfellow has a pretty good grasp on it. James memorized this poem a couple of years ago for school, and it spoke out to me. I just need to press on.
P.S. Luke just memorized "In Flanders Fields" for Veterans Day and my heart literally skipped a beat when he sweetly said, "We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved..." Poetry from your child's lips (especially when the pauses are not in the right place) is a pretty sweet thing.
A Psalm of Life
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.