And the winner of chemo round 1...it's a draw. Chemo gave me a pretty good beatdown on days 3 and 4, but I bounced back and am feeling relatively strong and ready to go into the next round. The most discouraging moment was on day 3 when I was feeling pretty crummy and went to have my pump disconnected and the nurse said "It gets worse every time". Thanks pal, I needed something to look forward to.
My next round is now slated to start on Wednesday, March 4th if my bloodwork looks good. In the meantime, I'm busy plotting and strategizing on how to kick cancer's ass.
I'm working on getting some more scans done to look inside and try to figure out what's what in there. Cysts, hemangiomas, tumors, fibroids...the possibilities are endless for all these "lesions" and "densities". My most recent ultrasound has led the team at MDACC to conclude that the junk (I like to wow you with the official medical terminology) on my left ovary is a cyst. Just a big honkin' cyst. Not a separate malignant implant. So that's good news. Less cancer is always better, right?
We have some potentially new hypotheses on the peritoneal mass. I'm hoping that another ultrasound and perhaps a biopsy will clarify things. Maybe, just maybe, the mass is somthing other than a metastasis of my cancer. I'm really not wanting to get my hopes up, but that could be huge. So we pray for the best and prepare for the worst. Speaking of praying, let's pray that they can get to the mass to biopsy it without "rectal laparoscopy", 'cuz just between you and me, that doesn't sound fun at all.
In the meantime, I'm trying to get a consulation with a surgical oncologist on a procedure called HIPEC. My internet friends with colon cancer say it's all the rage. Actually, it's a pretty specialized surgery that very few people do, but it has had some success with colon cancers with peritoneal metastasis.
They basically slice you open, cut out all the visible cancer or suspected cancer in your abdomen, removing everything suspicious (might wake up without ovaries or a uterus, but hey, I'm through with those anyways). Then, while they've still got you open, they pump your abdomen full of HOT chemotherapy solution and slosh it around for a while. Then they close you up and you feel really, really crummy for a while. Then you live till you're 95 and your grandchildren are sick of you. I made up that part at the end. Really, the curative numbers are still not high, but better than chemotherapy alone.
So that's what's going on. Nothing to get excited about. Who knows if I'd even be a candidate for the surgery. And I have to go through my oncologist to get to the one surgical oncologist at MDACC who does this procedure. And who knows, if the peritoneal mass isn't malignant, I wouldn't even need to think about it...but I'm trying to keep all my irons in the fire.