Thursday, January 1, 2009
Although we had plans to attend another family dinner on New Year's Eve, I ran out of energy. Power naps appear to be my saving grace and I missed it yesterday. Laurie and I decided to break out a copy of "WALL-E" (xmas gift from Santa). Santa's intentions were good but he didn't check the list close enough because he delivered the Blu-Ray version which is useless to me. If anyone is interested in a brand new copy of this apparently delightful film on "high definition" Blu-Ray, please let me know...and give me a synopsis. Never fear, there was a back up plan as I was gifted a copy of, "There Will Be Blood". I didn't catch it during the initial release and read great reviews. The title seemed fitting for my journey. Manipulation, deceit, fear...many of the current feelings I have had about my condition are expressed in the characters and situations in this film. I have been reflecting on the Daniel Plainview character all day. My lymphoma is now Daniel Plainview. Overconfident, successful, mean, and now angry at my challenge to usurp his power and cast him out. Imagine, a defect in my system that allows one process, lymphatic drainage, to convince another that an internal attack is in order and that without intervention, my body would continue fighting with itself to the death. It's as if I caught my body doing something that it shouldn't and now it is embarrassed and lashing out.
A friend sent a note with some good questions that I wanted to pass along because he may not be alone in his curiosity. He experienced some awful stuff in Iraq; at least cancer is a sloth.
On the sliding scale of treatment -- meaning: no treatment, partial treatment, full treatment -- what's the prognosis and survival rate/s ? Years, months etc.
No treatment=death successful treatment=death (eventually)
No seriously, looks to be in the neighborhood of 80-90% cure...not just remission. I have to crawl through a fairly decent sized field of glass to get through this but there is an endpoint.
How much treatment do you have to endure before results are expected - and what kind of results signify success ??
If I get through the chemo and tests are still showing disease, they may change tact and head toward bone marrow techniques. It isn't currently in my marrow so this is a good prognostic indicator. They consider 5 yrs out with no bloodwork evidence, a cure. This is not to say another cancer may crop up but it won't necessarily be related. My onc thought I would see results in 2 weeks and they will take periodic CT scans along with bloodwork to see how the treatment is working. The tough part will be that getting better will be masked by the massive poisoning that occurs every 3 weeks.
Are the treatments progressively stacked or linear, meaning just one after the other.
Treatment builds on itself. Word has it that by chemo#4 or #5, energy wanes. Again, this is such an individual deal that I refuse to lay around and hope. I march on, come hell or high water.
Is there a particular cause for your condition -- or is it just plain bad luck --
Genetics, exposure to something ?? Did you eat paint chips ??
They are not able to pinpoint any real cause. Interestingly enough, I am the first person within my immediate family with any published cancer so there is no genetic predisposition. One of the early surveys I filled out was embarrassingly blank as they probed for family ties.
How long have you had it -- do you think ??
I think the October bronchitis uncovered the cancer. I asked the Onc how it would have manifested itself and his answer was, "it would be painfully obvious by now" He said I would have had chest pain, shortness of breath, other pain, etc.
I'm an open book at this point. Internet privacy be damned. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I can't think of any questions that would be too upsetting or uncomfortable to answer.
I did see the ball drop so 2009 has officially started.