Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Waiting for "it" to work

We are in that "odd" period of time between having started a new treatment protocol (based on the results of the last scan results and recommendation of our oncologist) and waiting for the next scan to see if the new treatment has had any effect. Our emotions range from optimism and hope, to concern about what if it doesn't work and what are the next options. The good news is no new surface level tumors.  It's unclear if the existing surface tumors are changing. We clearly don't know what's happening inside. Waiting pretty much sucks.

We'd like to think all the things we are doing will make a difference - the diet, exercise, and current treatment.  We know that having a positive attitude makes a difference.  I'd say for the most part we are doing all that pretty darn well, and each day we say, "we will prevail". Emotionally, the hardest part is not going down the long bad road. You can't really look at the statistics and probabilities.  Those are for the general population of melanoma patients and don't reflect each unique person. Meagan's melanoma clearly has behaved differently than the typical melanoma (usually caused by the sun and a mole's reaction and subsequent inattention by the person - so lesson #1 is have your skin checked regularly because if caught early it is highly treatable).

So we are hopeful that one of the treatment protocols will make a big difference. But at each stage with lack of success, we know it's harder, as the treatment options become fewer and more speculative. You have to live with hope each day. We still have one FDA approved treatment possible if this doesn't work. So a Cabana Boy's job in this stage is to be positive, encourage the good controllable behavior (the eating well, "juicing", exercise), and keep reminding yourself and your loved one that (to use a sports metaphor) we are still in the middle innings, the game is not over by any stretch.

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