Dude, Cancer sucks. I will prove it to you.

Monday, June 27, 2011

6-27-11, another one

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
Sisters, brothers
One life
But we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

That’s right baby, we are set for UCSF, and we are in the one cycle group.  For those of you keeping score, that means that Cole could be home by the end of July.  Assuming all goes well he will take August off, and then start radiation in September.  Following that he will have 6 cycles (similar to the previous Chemo cycles with respect to duration) of immunotherapy.

Now I am not sure if I have become sentimental throughout this whole process or if the universe is talking to me (or maybe it always has and I am just now listening), but the last few days have been very strange.  Please allow me to elaborate.

Since the initial diagnosis experience, I have been doing a pretty good job of keeping it together.  We have a plan.  We have an enemy.  We execute the plan.  We defeat the enemy.  It is simple, and it was working.  So then you can understand how badly I was hit when Dr. Taggart first told me on Thursday that the MIBG reading showed new, active cancer cells.  This was not part of the plan.  Eradication was the plan, not growth.  WTF?

Dr. Taggart did say that she disagreed with the reading, but by then the box had been opened, and in my mind, the worst case scenario had become a foregone conclusion.  To make matters worse, we were not going to find out if the cancer had spread, much less if we were going to be able to start the UCSF procedure, until Monday.  Fortunately Elisa kept us sane, or at least stopped us from going completely crazy, by planning and then flawlessly executing a weekend of awesomeness.

Despite that, I was on pins and needles all day today.  There were so many things that, if just one had not gone our way, would have derailed us.  First Cole had a dentist appointment to fill some cavities.  If problems arose, or if there were complications, or if the wind decided to blow the wrong way, UCSF gets delayed.  As always, Cole sailed though with such ease that I am beginning to question whether I am just becoming a paranoid crazy person.

I got word of the successful dentist appointment at around 8:45ish (for exact times please ask Elisa), and then had to endure my own overactive paranoid imagination until his clinic appointment at 2.  Again, of course (now I am beginning to think he does it on purpose) good news came our way.  Not only was there no new active cancer cells, and not only were we cleared to start at UCSF tomorrow, but we were even randomized into the one cycle group (which means that this phase will be about 8 weeks shorter than if we were in the two cycle group).

So that is kind of the factual world that I have been living in.  Now two things have happened during this time that have perked my ears up like when our dog, Charley, hears….well whatever it is that he hears that make his ears perk up…..

The first thing that happened was yesterday after a dinner of Chinese food, we all opened our fortune cookies.  Elisa’s, Logan’s, and mine were all unremarkable; however, Cole’s read as follows, “Determination will get you through this.”  Talk about freaky.

Then, and this one was a little bit more obtuse, I was watching Shawshank Redemption (awesome freaking movie.  It is one of those movies that I never think about making an effort to watch, but then when I happen to watch it, I think to myself why haven’t I been watching this movie every day) and the hope concept caught my attention.  For those of you who haven’t seen it (you know now that I think about it, I am not going to give a plot summary for this one.  If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you).  So anyway right after Brooks’ demise, Red talks about the danger of hope.  After his lines, I found myself applying his ideas to my life.  I do understand the danger of hope.  Within the context of cancer, hope can set you up for the destruction of your mind/soul/emotional stability/whatever.  Assume the worst and you can only be pleasantly surprised.

Towards the end of the movie (Buxton Hay fields, long wall, black obsidian), Andy tells us otherwise.  “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and good things never die.”  True dat.

If you have seen the movie, go watch it again.  If you have not, go watch it (Cole demands it).  In the meantime, raise your glasses and toast Cole, male model.

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