The oncologist looks for 3 things. 1) am a well 2) what does my liver chemistry look like 3) what does the scan look like. I am well. My liver bloods have improved and are almost normal. My scan has not changed from the baseline. He would have ‘liked to have seen more of a response’. They are keeping me on the placitaxel as the improvement in liver function would indicate it is working. But I am disappointed and low. I will have another scan in 4 weeks and they will keep monitoring the bloods. The conversation underlined how unpredictable my situation is.
What positives can I squeeze out of this meeting?
That it has not got worse – and cancer multiplies so something has stopped it multiplying.
What is making me sad?
That it is more difficult to stay positive with no visible change in my situation from when I started. That even if the chemo simply keeps it stable (which may be the outcome) – they will still try me on hormones – but I still have a compromised liver and any progression if/when the hormones stop working means I have less to play with. The worry that it is stubborn cancer which will shorten my treatment options as the ladder of treatments will get eaten into more quickly.
Rupert was with me. He was strong for me. The children were all aware what was going on – and quizzed us when we got back. I had been in London for the day at work and was tired anyway which made it hard to hide my feelings. I felt low and flat. Ella reminded me of what was positive. She found a study that showed that stable disease had similar outcome as those that regressed (but I don’t think that related to the liver). She also read that CT scans do not show live cancer (like PET scans) and as mine is salt and peppered it is more difficult to compare the change. Had a number of big tumours you can measure the difference quite easily.
Regardless…I have woken up on Tuesday morning and I am a bit teary.