Although the PET scans are cool-looking, what they reveal is not.
The cancer has further metastasized in my peritoneum, which is basically the lining of my abdomen.
Because it was not visible in any of my MRIs, my doctor says they must assume it’s new, which means the cancer is not under control as they previously supposed. Dr. Mandon told me, that although he’s not a surgeon, he believes that surgery is not possible. In sum, I have no chance of a cure.
Keep in mind, that “cure” means 5-10 year survival from initial diagnosis. With metastasis only in the liver, for which surgery is much easier, the chances of surviving that long are in the 30-40% range.
I found an article that suggests that surgery is possible on the peritoneum but only for certain patients. I have no idea if I qualify and will only know more when the surgeons at Penna see my PET scans next week.
For now, my doctor at Marie Curie has recommended going back to intravenous chemotherapy for another 3 cycles. That level of chemo completely wiped me out. I was unable to cook or shop. Going to the toilet required a level of discipline and mustering of will usually expected of marathon runners. I have no idea how I’m going to handle this.
After Angel gave me the news I asked him directly if I should start thinking about end-of-life decisions. He said, “No, no no. We still have options.”
Meanwhile, Joel’s photo instructor knows of a free hospice here in the city and that comes as some sort of relief.
I just want to focus on quality of life right now: Writing every day, getting out of my room every day, reading a book, watching one movie a day. There’s so much I haven’t seen and so much writing inside me. Still, it’s very hard to focus with the level of anxiety I have and the crushing loneliness.
I’d also like to get out of this awful living situation — slugs, cockroaches, mildew, filth, slow-as-molasses, pirated Internet connection, a bed that tortures — although I don’t know how I’ll do that given my limited and unpredictable income. If anyone in Buenos Aires knows of a cheap, clean room with Internet in a more central part of town, let me know.