Friday morning I met with my oncologist to discuss the results of some scans that took place the previous evening.
I have a recurrence of colon cancer in my liver.
This re-staging means that my diagnosis has been upgraded to Stage IV.
What this means for my treatment remains up in the air, probably for a few more days, as my care team explores my options.
…and there are options.
My imaging and medical history will be presented at my cancer centre’s tumour board, where a team of specialists will review my new scans and help to carve a path forward.
Colon cancer is unique compared to other cancers because if it only spreads to the liver, curative treatment can still be part of the plan.
The availability of curative treatment for me hinges on whether or not the lesions in my liver can be surgically removed. Things get a whole lot more complicated if surgery isn’t an option, though there are still avenues of treatment available to me.
Should I hear that surgery is not an option, I’ll seek a referral to the cancer centre in Toronto for a second opinion.
We’ll be getting into questions of arcane treatments that I dare not speculate on at this point, but I don’t want to leave any stones unturned here.
The number of people I know who’ve beat colon cancer deemed medically incurable gives me a lot of hope, here.
How am I taking it?
I’m doing fine.
After the news yesterday, Shannon and I went out for a couple of pints and some tacos for Cinco de Mayo.
This morning I went for a nice trail walk with a friend. Tomorrow I’m getting my port flushed and meeting up with a different friend to catch up.
Really, I’m doing fine. It’s everyone else that I’m worried about.
I’ve been operating with the knowledge that a cancer recurrence was a probability for me. It’s just disappointing that it’s so soon after finishing my treatment.
It’s nobody’s fault: modern oncology only reaches so far. My disappointment is that my first round of treatment failed.
From the outset, we knew it was a long shot.
I’ll just do what I can. Keep. Fucking. Going.