Last week I got good and bad news on the cancer front-
Good news: my current team of doctors only want to do surgery this time around and no treatment.
Bad news: surgery only because they believe my cancer is resistant to radiation. What does this mean? Well, that throwing more radiation at it is pointless. And it turns out chemo is not effective on it’s own for my type of cancer. Very bad news.
The worst news: because it is radiation resistant, because I have no known cause, because I am so young, they have no one to compare me to. That means they can’t tell me my chances of recurrence again in the future.
More good news: my medical oncologist trained under an oncologist that is leading research in re-radiation therapy (radiation on an already radiated cancer) After pathology comes back from surgery I will be heading to see him for a second opinion.
Is it weird that I really want treatment to happen? Surgery alone feels incomplete to me. Like, really? It wasn’t enough last time-how is it enough this time??
Surgery this time will be a bit easier though. My scans all show the cancer is only in my neck so my tongue will be left alone! This means I can EAT after surgery! However, in addition to the cancerous lymph node, they are also removing a chunk of muscle and a section of nerves from my neck. I’ll have fairly good range of motion with my neck and arm, but I will have weight restrictions for a bit longer this time and my shoulder will be really sore. I’ll start physical therapy a few weeks after surgery to get my strength back.
Because of all this new information I decided it would be best for me to quit my (just started 6 weeks ago) job and find something that I can do from home. With the complete uncertainty of possible treatments this time around and no idea of my chance of recurrence-I need something in can do throughout all of it. This will mean I can still earn an income (cancer is expensive in the U.S., guys) and get to my doctors appointments. Some friends have recommended looking into transcription work and virtual assistant jobs as they tend to be fairly flexible.
Honestly, I’m looking forward to working at home. I miss being home all day. I loved being at home with my animals and getting to stay in comfy clothes all day long. More importantly though, I forgot how much I hate commuting!
Also, I’ll have more cooking time! Good thing since all of my doctors have ordered me to put on as much weight as I can in case I go through treatment again. Stay tuned for everything I eat post-surgery. Lots of stews, smoothies, and snacks!
I’m buying a lot of kale, frozen fruit, and beans this weekend to prepare you guys. And I mean, a lot!