The End of the Line

It happened today. The worst appointment. The one that all the anxiety and all the dread and all the insomnia is for. The appointment with very bad news.

Funnily enough, this is probably the first appointment I’ve walked into where my stomach hasn’t been in knots, my heart racing, my knees already jelly. Maybe I knew, somewhere inside, that the news was coming? Somehow psychologically steeled myself for the worst?

Anyway. The not great news: chemotherapy is not working spectacularly to eradicate the cancer that is working very hard to ravage my lungs and my liver (especially my liver). My latest scan shows that while my multiple lung metastases appear to have shrunk a little bit in some cases, or at least remained stable (not grown), my liver tumour is growing.

I’m on the same drug I was on last year that — last year — worked spectacularly well. After two cycles my tumours were dramatically shrinking, to the point some had disappeared. This year, I’m not so lucky.

The worse news is that…I’m out of treatment options. I mentioned unfunded drugs in my last post, but following a long and detailed chat with my oncologist about them, we’ve ruled them out. Not due to the cost (and thank you to all the incredibly generous, kind people who contacted me to offer to help fund the medication), but just because they are unlikely to be very effective on my particular manifestation of cancer, and they are also very harsh drugs that can extremely negatively impact your quality of life. The maths just doesn’t work.

Cool Garry said it is up to me what I want to do. Continue chemo and see if it holds off the cancer for a bit longer…or stop. Meaning end treatment. There are no more options for treating my cancer. I’m terminal. When I stop treatment, the next step will be hospice care (when I need it).

(Given I currently feel like I’m tolerating chemo well and I feel good, I opted to continue with chemo for as long as I am tolerating it well. Cool Garry supported that decision and emphasised that I can change my mind at any time).

It feels surreal to feel fine and know I’m dying, but…that’s the situation. My time is officially running out now, we are just gonna see how long we can put off the inevitable with chemo and hope and taking one day at a time.

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