Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Fork in the Road Day

We meet with Dr Kaplan at 9:20am. First she has her regular blood draw. Based on the results, we go in one of two directions. If her blood counts are normal she will likely start chemotherapy - maybe today or maybe tomorrow. It is the only thing she has left to try that might slow or stop the cancer - she knows it is a slim chance, but at least it is something. If her blood counts are low, it means she can't do the chemo. That means there is no chance of slowing or stopping the cancer and it is just a question of "if, not when".  That is a hard message to hear. Moreover it means that something is going on to cause those low blood counts, something not good. If blood counts are low, the explanation could be the cancer is in her liver or bone marrow. Whatever it is, it means the process is accelerating. Again, not a good message to hear. So it's likely going to be an emotional morning. We also have all the other issues to address which are not about systemic treatment - but tumor management. And of course the looming brain MRI next week.

It definitely is a mixed bag to have days like this. Uncertainty is unsettling, and getting the information allows you to understand where you are and adjust and plan accordingly, instead of speculating and dealing with a wide range of scenarios. But if the information is not good, or closes out desirable options (kind of ironic that poisoning your body with chemicals would be considered a good option) it sends you down a path you'd rather not take - and you have to deal with the negative consequences.

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