How often do you get to see live feed videos of the hottest growth spots in your body in one week? This week I saw two. Woohoo! The first one showed a flicker of light pulsating in a one-inch long object that already has hands, feet, a head and eyes at 9 weeks. Not that I could see these body parts. All we saw was a fuzzy, black & white blob. But we could see the heartbeat. And anyone who has gone through a pregnancy knows that seeing that flicker is a key checkpoint of life. This good news Monday was sandwiched between discussions of radiation, radiation burns, radiation beams (which apparently are way more high-tech these days), radiation side effects and browsing through an American Cancer Society catalog of dozens of different hat and wig styles.
On Tuesday, the sonogram picture was not so cheery. Half-naked and slathered in goo as doctors waltzed in and out of the room, I stared at an object that looked like a letter 'C' that someone squashed together. This puffy object was once a lymph node. But they needed a third sonogram from a breast expert to confirm it. There is so much cancer in it that when they biopsied the lump, the doctors didn't find any lymph cells. After viewing this video, we got to talk to chemo doctor (formally called a medical oncologist). No matter how nice he was, the words coming out of his mouth were not nice. Chemo sounded like a road trip through hell where you hope to come out with a 20 to 30 percent better chance at life but could also come out with no hair, a GI tract that doesn't like food, infections, anemia, swelling, memory problems, mouth sores and, though rarely, new cancers. He called it "dumb medicine" because even though it targets fast growing cells like cancer, it also hits all the other fast growing cells in your body. The young-ish and healthy, like me, are good candidates. I interpreted that statement as: The young-ish and healthy are good candidates because only the young-ish and healthy can stand it.
NOTE: We want to thank all of you that have sent kind words or offered to help in some way. Your words mean so much to us. They make me feel like I've got this room full of little bouquets of love.
NOTE 2: Flicker's due date: April 6 :)