Feb 192012

I talked to my oncologist on Thursday and it was a nice long talk. One thing I have noticed is that more specialized a doctor is, the more time he has to chat. Primary Physicians give you less time than the drive thru window at Sonic but the cancer doctor spent an hour talking to me.

He broke it down like this. My nad had a tumor growing in it that hulked it out. The tumor didn’t break through the nad which is good, but there were some cancer cells by the blood vessels that go to the lymph nodes, which is bad.

How bad? It depends. My CT scan didn’t reveal anything but that could mean that the cancer is inside my lymph nodes and not causing any visible signs. That could mean a few thousand cells escaped which could be killed by my body without help. OR it could mean that a few million cells are in there happily multiplying and working their way up to a tumor.

I have two options. I can spend two years doing regular tests to see if the cancer has returned. If it don’t, that’s great. If it does show up, oops, it will be harder to kill because it had time to grow.

The other option is to go through two rounds of chemo, lose some hair, undergo some nausea and other side effects and have a 99% chance of killing anything that escaped.

As a writer I think of loose uncertain ends as guaranteed plot twists later. If I wrote that a character had a small chance of cancer returning, you best beleive the cancer is returning at a very plot dramatic moment. The idea of not pulling the trigger and exterminating all cancer seems foolish. On the other hand, chemo is a hell of a trigger.

I am still waiting back on some blood tests. Funny enough, it is a pregnancy marker. If I had a womb it would mean a bundle of joy but since I am a man it means a bundle of terror. It was pretty high pre-nad removal and was pretty low post-nad removal but it needs to be like zero. When I get the blood results from Thursday, it will give us a better idea of whether I have a little cancer terrorist in me.

Either way I haven’t decided which to do. My brain says go for the chemo but my heart is like, “Hasn’t 2012 sucked enough already?” I am sure I will pick chemo but right now I want a few more results.

  10 Responses to “The Quantum Cancer”

  1. http://xkcd.com/931/

    Fuck Cancer.

    But, that is a hard one. With the one friend I had who went through that choice, they went with the only decision they felt they could make. And they even knew how to make that decision: “Nuke it from obit, it was the only way to be sure.”

    But, chemo is scary as all hell too. Whatever you chose, you know I’ll be there if you need me. :) I might even call.


  2. Thanks for telling us. As for the decision – it’s your life. You have to sort this out yourselves. Me, I would zap the damn thing, though I’d have a hard time with the thought of my mop of red hair growing back grey. But as I also say about BDSM, that’s me. I wouldn’t think of saying what’s right for anyone else.

    (Not true. I’d think it. But wouldn’t necessarily expect anyone else to make the same choices.)

    PS – the reason family physicians don’t give you more than 2 minutes is that the stupid insurance companies won’t pay them for any more than that. They get very frustrated at not being able to practice the kind of medicine they want to.

  3. t’Sade- wow, that is exactly what treatment looks like. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this episode of xkcd before.

    oatmeal girl – I admit to a certain vanity to my very thick brown hair.

  4. Wow – a hell of a decision to have to face, Shon. I don’t know what decision I’d make.
    I know that’s little comfort, and I wish I could do more than just wish you all the best.

  5. Shon,

    I didn’t want to depress you, but I thought it was appropriate. XKCD seems to have most of my major life events already illustrated, so it seems like a good place to say things I can’t find the words for.

  6. t’Sade- Quite the opposite. It felt really good seeing a graphic that really broke down what I was feeling. I had spent the weekend trying to figure out how to explain it and bam, there it is :)

  7. Hey Derek – Like most hard choices, I may defer to my lucky dice.

  8. My detached comment: Wait for results and consultation, then weigh the odds. My not-detached comment: Nuke the fucker. Alas, you don’t have the option of doing so from orbit.

  9. Thinking of you. I’m just a phone call away if you want to talk.


  10. Jason – Nuking is the way we are going. Nuking and Puking as I call it.

    M – Thanks. It is always hard to start a call with “Hey, let’s talk cancer!” lol

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