I met with my medical oncologist today and she was very encouraging. While she admits to being baffled as to why my cancer returned as rapidly and as extensively as it did (she calls that "very uncommon"), she is hopeful that I will have a good response to the treatment I am now undergoing. She does not use the word "cure" as a goal, but says that to extend my life as long as possible with good quality is the goal. Because my cancer responded so positively to the earlier treatment (chemotherapy), it is hoped that it will respond just as positively to the current treatments (radiation and medications). About 7% of patients with my type of cancer have a complete response. (They just don't call it "cured!")
I've been cleared to exercise on the elliptical, recumbent bike or slow treadmill. Just need to be careful of falling. My oncologist believes that I may eventually get to return to running! I may get that 5K in this year after all!
She approved my following a low-carb food plan as losing weight will reduce stress on my body all around. I've lost 12 pounds since my last visit on Dec 20.
One thing she emphasized to me is to keep them informed of any changes. She noted that I'm "not a complainer," so I need to really let them know when things are "off." I probably didn't communicate my pain levels enough on my last visit.
In brief . . . radiation until Feb 20. Injections on Feb 16. Follow-up with neurosurgeon on Feb 25, as well as a brief check-in with the oncologist. Depending on how my neck is healing, I may still need a rod placed or some "bone cement" to help my bones remain strong.
We continue to pray that God's healing hand will be upon me. The doctor used the term 5+ years (that's about as far as anyone goes out), but we're asking for God's grace. Obviously, as I told the doctor, "I'm here today and I'm grateful," so each day is a gift.
My morning devotional verse was: "To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty,
power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages,
now and for evermore!" (Jude 25)