After early-morning bloodwork and a CT scan, the word is in: no surprises in my chemistry, no new passengers on board. This means we slow my visits from twice a year to once a year, and my chances of recurrence have dropped again. Good news we all needed on a Monday after a long, hard weekend.
The first thing to mention is that my arms haven’t gotten any better. I’m four days in on new blood thinners but apparently this is going to take a couple of weeks to resolve itself: the blood thinners help my body break the clot down naturally, but slowly, over time. Which sucks. I can’t be depending on oxycontin to go to sleep (there’s a recipe for disaster) so we doubled down on an alternative method this evening, which I’d much rather use anyway to dull the pain.
We drove in to Hopkins for a follow-up with my oncologist this afternoon, and after going through the updates, he dropped a bombshell on us: he’s not recommending any further rounds of chemotherapy based on how the tumor came out during the surgery. His thinking is that the radiation had the main effect on it, but the chemo didn’t do anything–no shrinkage or necrosis as far as he’d been told–so there’s no point in more chemo if it’s not going to help me in any way. He’s going to huddle with my surgeon to make sure they agree, and then let me know by the end of the week.
If I could avoid more chemotherapy, that would be wonderful. It’s a hateful, boring, lonely, and withering experience. Again, if I didn’t have Jen with me for the first two rounds I’d have gone mad. They’re going to put me on a schedule of CAT scans every three months to make sure nothing is growing, and then slowly taper the frequency back over the years. We asked a ton of questions and I left feeling kind of shell-shocked.