So, Armageddon? Friday 9th March was a day Jas or I will never forget. Sure, we’d known for a while that I had cancer but until then we were all in the dark as to exactly what stage it was at. In fact, only the day before we'd celebrated the results of the latest investigative procedure, an MRI scan showing there was no connection or concern in regard to another issue thrown up on the original ultrasound; a lesion on the liver. Yay! The cancer was nicely continued in the pancreas, so let’s get it out and move on. After all, I’m still symptom free and feeling probably the best I have in ages!
And that’s where things got a tad more complicated.
Having wrapped itself around some important blood vessels, getting it out was not an option. At least not immediately. And the one chance available, to try and shrink it with an intense course of chemo and then operate comes with a less than 50% success rate.
But it didn’t stop there. For some reason, I had the idea that once weakened, removing the tumour would be a simple procedure. Key-hole surgery with the slightest of scars as a memento, right? Er, no! It is a fearsome, cut-you-open, highly risky seven or so hours on the table. And even then, it might be impossible to remove it all.
So Friday was not a good day.
Less than twenty four hours later, and with my specialist bluntly describing me as being in the grey area between white (survival, at least for now) and black (not a hope in hell) we were planning our battle strategy. And we’re going wide to beat this thing. Chemo yes, and anything else the experts suggest. Even clinical trials. But we’re going to be attacking on other flanks too, such as finding a personal trainer to keep me on the straight and narrow and increase my fitness levels. And there’s going to be even more focus on the sugar, alcohol, meat and dairy free diet I’ve been on for some three weeks. As already mentioned in my last post, according to the experts cancer cells gorge on glucose, but they’re stupid. Remove the sweet stuff and instead of looking for an alternative food/energy source they shrivel up and die. Okay, a bit simplistic, but you get the idea! Along with all the hard work we’re including therapeutic massages and long, invigorating walks by the beach or in the bush. And then there’s acupuncture and yoga. Oh, and a trip to Mexico and some snake-oil stuff if all else fails!
But first, there’s the up-and-coming appointment with the Oncologist, and the round of chemo starting a week or so later. And having been told the possible side effects and that it will knock me about quite a bit, I'm not looking forward to that.