Updated: Feb 6, 2019
Scan day. Good ole scan day...the thoughts that can go through your head. I usually go into those things with a smile on my face and a confidence to boot. It's not necessarily a, "it shrunk tremendously, it's going away, it'll be gone in no time" kind of confidence. It's more of a, "whatever comes our way, we'll do this" kind of confidence. I go into the machine usually wondering what they're looking at right now, but then I stop myself and think "whatever comes...it's all good." Well...this time the thinking was a little different for me. No worries, it wasn't a 'bad' kind of thinking--but, it did cause a few tears to come trickling down my face.
What was I thinking about, you might wonder? One of my best buddies--man, we're going on like 31 years of friendship here. She was my very first friend outside of siblings and cousins...and I'm calling her out right here--Tif. Dr. Tif, to be exact. She's probably reading this right now, all insecure thinking, "What?!? Jess??? What the heck. Why are you bringing me up.." Conversations are running through her head right now, "did I say or do something..." (did I nail it, Tif? ;) )
I don't know if you remember--heck, I don't know if I remember--but in one of my earlier blogs, I mentioned a Dr. friend who had to deliver the news to me...the dreaded "cancer" news. And in her head, knowing it was at an advanced stage. Well.... you know how you hear, "don't treat your friends and don't have your friend as your doctor?" This was my first official visit with my bestie, Dr. Tif. I had been asking her questions pretty much all the time, and then my tummy issues came up again and I thought, "Hey, Tif, I always ask you anyways--should I just start seeing you?" "Sure!"
So, long story short, I went in for blood work and it was all good. But then she said, "ya know, Jess, you've been having these issues a while--would you want to do a scan? I'm sure it's nothing major but we can just check." So, I obviously did. I didn't plan on meeting her that day after the scan, just planned on doing the scan and going right back home. But when the tech told me I needed to meet with the Dr., I obviously knew something was up. I knew something was up when I saw her. I knew something major was up when my hubby walked through the door. "Well this can't be good," were the exact words that came out of my mouth. And there it was. My best friend had to give her best friend...the news. BOOM. How do you like that first appt. Tif, huh? If I had a mic that day... And then I remember leaving the hospital after that painfully long day and thinking, "oh my gosh her brother gets married this weekend and I JUST ruined a fun time for her!" See...that's just what friends do. We worry about each other.
But it wasn't those thoughts that made me tear up. It was the thought, "Holy crap. I can't believe we're at this point in our journey." I honestly don't know what would have happened had she not asked me to do a scan--I may have found out too late. And I KNOW she doesn't realize how thankful I am for her not only as a friend, but as a doctor.
My scan was Friday and I knew come Monday I was going to see the results, which would determine what the next step would be. So in that machine on Friday, all I could think about was Dr. Tif and how grateful I am for her and her gift to me--giving me a fighting chance. Thank you. <3
So yesterday...we met with Dr. about the results. The results showed no more decrease in size of the lesions on the liver, and tumor markers remained the same. Chemo has reached its max efficacy, which means no more chemo...which also means it's time for a surgery consult.
I admit...this was hard to hear. It was hard to hear that something "stopped working" like it was. I had a gut feeling this was going to be the news I was going to hear, but it's still hard to hear. I knew I was in for a loooooong day of too many thoughts, and as much as a tried, I couldn't help it--and it's okay. They weren't all bad thoughts. Steve ended up taking off so we could kind of just process everything in our minds and talk.
It. Is. CRAAAAAAAZY that we're at this point in our journey. This is a point that 7 months ago....was not a thought in any of the oncologists' minds. I was told by all of them that it wasn't going to be possible with the liver--there were too many spots, surgery wouldn't be possible. It's Stage IV, they don't usually operate. So to be at this point in the journey....is amazing and I'm so, so very thankful.
I am bummed about my BA surgeon not being able to be the one to perform the surgery as he will be leaving his current practice and going elsewhere, but will be off for 3 months. I am seriously bummed. But...I'm checking into a couple other options so it's all good. I'm confident I'll be directed down the right path.
PET scan is coming up Friday, and the consults will be in the very near future. We're looking at about 1 month until go time. God is Good. Always. <3
Words to live by... "Be Still & Know..." Psalm 46:10
Hope & Pray.