11 February 2014

A Long, Quiet Ride Home

We left NIH yesterday, together.  C and I sat in some of the longest, uncomfortable quiet I think we have ever experienced as a couple.  Neither of us sure what to say, not wanting to send the other into uncontrollable tears, but wanting to say something.  This week was supposed to be round 4 of our 6 round chemo trial, but Monday's scans were not what we were hoping for.

Just three weeks before, the CT scans showed dramatic improvement in the tumors in C's lungs, a 28% reduction after just two cycles of chemo.  We were so relieved and excited to finally have good news to share with our family and friends who are riding this roller coaster with us.  However, among that good news, we were told that two of the tumors, one in the lungs and one in the pelvis, appeared to grow since the baseline scan in December.  The doctor seemed sure that this was due to growth that occurred prior to starting treatment, growth that hadn't reduced to below baseline standards.  We were told they wanted to repeat the scan prior to chemo round 4 to confirm their suspicions.  With that we checked him in and proudly announced to our friends and family the good news.

This Monday we went in just like the time prior and got the repeat scan.  It was actually almost eerie how smooth everything flowed, on time without issue or incident.  We spent the time between scans perusing menus of local restaurants that we thought we'd try to sneak out to before his treatment started that night.

Then the doctor came in.

It turns out that while the lungs were stable and looking much better in response to the treatment, the tumor in the pelvis was a different story.  While the growth had slowed, it was still continuing to grow in spite of the chemo.  Since the lungs are stable, this has become a more urgent issue, requiring radiation.  As this is outside of the scope of the protocol, we are now off the study.   Appointments are scheduled for this week with our oncologist and radiation oncologist to decide the next steps.

I am trying desperately to be thankful this is being caught so early, one of the benefits of the many scans we have recieved .  I want to be hopeful that by being so proactive, we can eradicate this renegade tumor.  I want to be a comfort to my husband who has to struggle with new doubt, frustration, and fear.  I want to be strong for our children, to not take out my fears and anxiety out on them but instead teach by example on how to weather the uncertain.  I want to have faith that He is in control despite what feels like endless setbacks.  I really, really want to.........