Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Life Changes Update

Well, I said I’d let everyone know the news.  So here is the update on the Mardi Gras of fun and frivolity that has become my life.

I went to see an oncologist this morning.  My bride came with me, and so did my wonderful sister, who drove out from California.  We sat down to discuss what lies ahead.

Here’s what I learned just before making the drive.  As part of the drill, I had to drive to two different radiology centers to pick up my CT scans and analyses.  The latest of the two was fun and informative reading.  Guess what I found out?  Ladies and gentlemen, I have hit the trifecta.  One little detail my urologist neglected to mention when he referred me to the oncologist is that in addition to the new growth that has appeared where my cancerous kidney used to be, I now have colon cancer (and yes, to answer your question, I did get a colonoscopy, which was done about three years ago).  Add that to the bladder cancer that has been recurring, and there are now three different malignancies competing to kill me. 

Good lord.
So.  With CT scans in hand, we sat down with the doctor to go over our options.  My evaluation of them in my last update, wherein I described my choices as likely ranging from “not-so-good to really bad,” turns out to have been wildly optimistic.  The only real question I am facing is this:  how much of whatever months I have remaining will I allow the doctors to take over?  It is really obvious at this point that if I give the word, they will take over 100% of it.  My inclination is to not let them do that.  Maybe there is a happy medium.  My oncologist seems to be sensitive to my concerns.  So we’ll see.

I will need more information before I can decide.  More tests lie ahead.  Among other things, we have to find out whether the cancer in my colon is the same type of cancer that is in my abdominal cavity.  If it is, that indicates one course of treatment.  If it’s not, then another course is indicated.  Both courses ultimately lead to the same place, though, and in fairly short order.  The doctor was very clear about that.

Over the past few days I have been contacted by so many people who’ve told me stories about this relative or that friend who was once given just months to live and wound up surviving for years.  It happened to my very own mother in law, who was once assured that she had only weeks and wound up living for another ten years.   I would like to believe my prognosis might stand a chance of falling into that kind of realm.  I don’t know if it does or not.  But regardless of whatever does lie ahead, my intention is the same as it was before:  to make the absolute best of it. 

In the ultimate sense, there is no way to “beat” this cancer.  But nor do I have to let it take over the time I have remaining.  And there are things I still plan to do.  That will be my fight—to do those things.

I am grateful to those of you who’ve reached out with words of support and wisdom.  Watch this space for continued updates.

###

You can find the entire series of blog posts on my medical journey on this page:  My Medical Travails:  Adventures in the Toilet Zone.  And of course, I invite you to check out my author's page, where you can learn about my novels, see critic and reader reviews, download sample chapters, and find purchase links:  www.forrestcarr.com.

10 comments:

  1. Forrest,
    Just reading/learning of what's going on in your world. You are an amazing writer... of course I wish you a continued motivation and great passion to your craft. One thing I know of you well (been the brunt of it one or two times in your office!), you have determination, fight and fire. Fight on Forrest, we are all rooting for YOU to win =)

    Sending big hugs,
    Gavender

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am saddened by the fact we do not have a technological regenerative solution for that particular type of cancer, research is making discoveries every day. Possibilities can bring hope. I know your need is immediate, but for ultimate divine intervention to be recognized, it must occur in the nick of time. Praying for that time, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am heartbroken at your news, but am amazed and awed by your attitude. I love that. Will say prayers for you to continue to find peace and grace. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Forrest, I admire your attitude so much! Don't know if you remember me but I was a third wheel on some of your outings in high school..or maybe early college. You have the distinction of being the one to cart me to my first shall we say..art film. LOL Madame Kitty? I am laughing remembering that. Just now had a flash of going to see Up in Smoke, too. Keep fighting! Prayers for you..Lisa (Strahl) Tamboli (Susan's friend, classmate of Amy)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Lisa. I do remember you but I have to confess I do not remember the film "Madame Kitty." And of course I remember Susan. Those were happy days. Thanks for reaching out to me.

      Delete
  5. Forrest, I'm sorry to hear about your lousy health news. I do think that if anyone is up for the challenge of kicking "C" ass, it will you ... even your own lawyers are afraid of you :-) I will send sappy warm thoughts your way. However, I suspect your unique brand of self-effacing humor and no bulls%&*-allowed mentality will better serve you than any trite phrases I can muster.... Affectionately, Susan

    ReplyDelete
  6. So sorry to read this. I wish you the best! Let me say, thank you for hiring me at WFLA. I am in debt to you for that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I appreciate the kind comments and support from everyone. Watch this blog space. There will be updates, and much, much more humor.

    ReplyDelete