My last update, on June 15th, discussed the aforementioned Plan B for treating the two new liver tumors (Sebastian and Brunhilda). It's called Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (or SBRT). I've come to understand there is no simple description for anything in the medical field, hence their fondness for acronyms.
The SBRT was to be done at Kaiser SSF. It starts with imaging to precisely map the exact position of the tumors and create a customized treatment plan. A device called a CyberKnife (conjures up all kinds of images) directs radiation beams to the tumors.
The first order of business is at PET/CT scan. You are injected with a radioactive sucrose solution and then have to still for 30 minutes, then lie still for another 30 minutes during scan. The solution seeks out hot spots of metabolism which are indicators of inflammation and cancer activity.
The results from the scan were not what we were looking for but not surprising since we already knew that pancreatic cancer can be aggressive. When the doctor at Kaiser SSF called me he said "Sorry to have to deliver the news, the pancreatic cancer has metastasized, good luck with chemotherapy".
Straight to the Heart
Talk about straight to the heart of the matter. I never did like things sugar coated. I don't know if the radiation for the liver tumors is still an option, but I will ask. At the moment, in spite of everything, my liver continues to function pretty well, so it might be best to leave things be for now.
The Learning Curve that Never Ends
Life is about choices and finding your own way. I do not want to do chemotherapy for any reason. I've watched too many friends suffer through the treatments for no apparent gain, other than feeling like crap the last months of their lives. For me it's about quality of life, not quantity. We've made an appointment with my oncologist to talk about other options that might be available. We also have an appointment with a doctor who is an internist with training in Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. She'll help us navigate the road ahead: what to expect, concerns and issues.
I am a warrior and my job is to continue baffling my doctors and defying the odds. I'm still determined to outlive the expiration date on my American Express card in Fall 2017.
Whatever is to come brings no fear. I have Rod, friends, family and spirit guides watching over me at all times. We never know what is ahead of us so it's time to face the music and dance.
Thank you, as always, to my fellow Etsy Artisans who are always able to help me illustrate my thoughts.