I asked you all for strength and I received it.
After glowing like kryptonite for a couple of hours, the PET scan confirmed the 1.8cm nodule is indeed a tumor and likely, cancerous. The smaller nodules are too small to see activity for now, but since this has spread in the abdominal cavity, this means STAGE 4.
God knows I needed the strength to hear that.
I have appointments the next 2 weeks, including a $2,000 visit to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for a second opinion. You have to be rich to be sick in this country.
The tumor board at Swedish will meet next week to discuss my case and I have requested to see a different surgical oncologist who specializes in HIPEC.
Another laparoscopy to get a better look at this tumor and the extent of spread is perhaps the first move and the rest of the conversation looks a little like this:
Will I need chemo?
Will I need HIPEC?
Will I do anything at all?
The oncologist ordered a blood test to see if my reaction to chemotherapy is associated with the absence of a specific liver enzyme. Even if that isn’t the culprit, he’s certain my body is overly sensitive to it and this poses a challenge. Once again, he confirmed that if I’d completed the 6 months of chemo, it still wouldn’t have guaranteed anything.
I’ve spent a lot of time researching and connecting with other appendix cancer patients across the U.S. -- and when I say connecting, I’ve personally sought them out on social media and called them on the phone.
There is a patient who had a 10 pound tumor and several organs removed during the HIPEC procedure without ever having chemotherapy. She’s been four years clear and also believes natural medicine is what’s helping her. Another patient has had recurrence with HIPEC and chemotherapy.
The stories are vast and it’s hard to decide which path to take, but my oncologist reminds me that I’m the one in control. I don’t want to go under the knife as it’s still not been a year of recovery from the prior two surgeries. And I refuse to pump poison into my body. Oh yeah, and there's that annoying pandemic.
I believe the traditional medicines are helping greatly with my overall physical health as is evident from the plethora of tests I have to take at every appointment.
So, I really don’t know what else to say right now other than to thank you all for the love, prayers, good juju, and strength that I asked for. It's truly a powerful thing and it's made all the difference.
Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a glass of wine with my name on it...