I haven’t been this excited after leaving a hospital visit since… well, wait… I’ve never been excited after leaving a hospital visit.
But today, after Dr. Leiro told me that even in the worst case scenario he thought they would be able to close up my colostomy, I felt more elated than I have since… I don’t know when.
Yup, I finally got to see one of Argentina’s best surgeons. He asked me a bunch of questions to get him up to speed, took a look at my PET scans — thankfully, he did not stick his fingers up my ass so I was spared that humiliation in front of Joel — and then gave me his assessment and recommendations.
The lesions on the liver, as I already knew, were no longer visible on the scans. But what I didn’t know, and what the folks at Marie Curie didn’t tell me, was that the rectal tumor was no longer visible, either. That doesn’t mean it’s not there; it just means that it’s smaller than the 1 cm that the very expensive machine can detect. So the cancer has not mutated and is still responding to chemotherapy.
That’s all good news.
However, the metastases in the peritoneum pose a different problem. They are small, but there are three of them. Leiro said that there may be more. In fact, it’s likely that there is. They may open me up and find a spread of cancer on my abdominal lining — several smaller masses that are not detectable via scan. That would be bad news.
On the other hand, he said that the three that are visible are also operable. My oncologists thought that they might not be. So I’m not looking at a cure but there is hope that I will be able to improve my quality of life by removing the colostomy and all the embarrassment, discomfort, demoralization and expense it engenders.
I might just have more life — more humane life — than I thought.