The Stacey Report

October 13, 2006: We’re on a Carousel, a Crazy Carousel…

Posted in Uncategorized by ohthatdeb on October 13, 2006

Jacques Brel may be alive and well and living in Paris, but in Massachusetts here we go around and up again around and down again around… we have been quite confused. Stacey went in to see the radiation oncologist… and I am sorry to say that this gal does not get an F for fabulous. Gotta be honest here on the Stacet Report. First of all, she had a weak handshake. Now, that’s points off right there, I don’t care who you are or what you have to say. Then there was the bedside, or deskside, manner when she matter-of-factly informed Stacey that “it was decided” that Stacey wouldn’t be having radiation.

Now, as we here on the report know, Stacey is all about the cancer-cell massacre. Kill ’em all dead, then kill ’em again just to be sure! Stacey wasn’t sure whether this gal thought that she would be happy enough to be skipping radiation not to ask questions, or that Stacey would be satisfied with “it was decided” as an explanation (snort snort) but she seemed sort of flummoxed when Stacey wanted an explanation of why she wouldn’t be getting the radiation treatment. As far as she knew, the point of the radiation was to kill off any free-floating cancer baddies so that they couldn’t start congregating, right? And this sounded like a good idea, right? Right.

OK, in her defense, in a later appointment TFDJ explained that Radiation Oncologists are really mathematicians, not so much people people. It’s all statistics and percentages: that’s her job and we’re glad she’s good at it. But that means that when Stacey asked why she wasn’t getting radiation treatment, the answer “because your cancer has already metastatized” seemed like a really good one. But of course, Stacey went around and around with her asking why metastatized cancer would be treated differently, Stacey getting more and more upset as she got answers like “Because your breast isn’t your biggest problem.”  Oh, that’s comforting!  The best moment came when the doctor said “Well, if we radiated the breast we might as well radiate the hip and liver, too!” to which Stacey replied, of course, “OK.”  The doctor gave a little laugh at that, but as we know, Stacey was quite serious: I want you to kill all my cancer, and you are not explaining why you won’t do that; you’re acting like you think I’m a goner and that’s an attitude I will not accept.

Realizing that she wasn’t going to get anything more, Stacey said ” Well, thank you very much for your time.”  The doctor, sensing that Stacey wasn’t happy, said that she would have TFDB call her.  This was very astute.

TFDB did call, and because she left a message she wasn’t really able to answer the question much more clearly then, but did in a follow-up appointment.  Basically, radiation therapy is not a walk in the park, and there is only so much of it the body can take.  Stacey’s medical staff got together and decided that because she responded so well to the chemotherapy, there was a reasonable chance that the chemo had killed all the cancer.  If it did, and they went ahead with the radiation, she’d be going through that for nothing.  If it did, and they went ahead with the radiation, and then (because this is a sneaky kind of cancer) it shows up somewhere else later on, they wouldn’t be able to give her more radiation because she would already have had it.  If it didn’t, the chances are good that the biggest problem would be the liver, not the breast, so they want to save the big guns for that and see what happens.

See?  Now would that have been so hard?

Anyway, to get as much information as possible right now, Stacey is having a PET/CT scan today.  She also reported some shortness of breath, which both she and TFDB attribute to the medication she is taking, but the scans will also be looking at her lungs just to be on the safe side.  We have no idea when or whether any useful information will be reported from these tests, but we’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, TFDB changed Stacey’s Zometa to every six weeks to better fit with the three-week Herceptin schedule.  Also there is some lovely downy blonde fuzz growing in — it isn’t long enough to be called a hairstyle yet, so Stacey is still sporting her lovely Can’t Fail scarves designed by Mary Ann Weiss at CJ Hats, where you should go for all your chemo cap needs! (That’s not a hint for a Stacey gift, just a shameless plug because we like Mary Ann and the Can’t Fail scarf is the BEST!)

More news as soon as we have some, and just a reminder: you will hear it here first, we promise! If it isn’t on the blog, you can safely assume that Stacey hasn’t heard anything yet.

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