Never Say Die…Unless.

Never Say Die…unless.

I know there have been many individuals wanting to hear more about my situation lately (mainly because you’ve said so!) and I apologize for any delay, but before I wrote more about my experience I wanted to gather a little more information that would bring everything up to speed, to keep everyone on the same page and not present this in a way that it very much is not, as if I’m misleading you in some way. See, some discoveries were made during the operation that changed the Doctor’s original plan at killing this cancer, and he had to effectively abort mission in order to prevent “doing more harm than good.” So the short of it is.

I still have cancer.

Two different types actually, both of the appendix, but still confined to the abdominal region.

The long of it follows. The plan for the operation was the “standard” HIPEC procedure, which involved cutting me open, removing/scraping away any tumors, removing the “mucin” (mucus-like cancer cells), then flooding me with 90 minutes of heated chemo, and finally installing 4 ports into my abdomen which would draw the chemo drip in for the coming 4 or so days in the ICU. Well, the doctors cut me open, started removing tumors, but found them significantly harder to remove than any other PMP tumors they had dealt with before, necessitating a much more vigorous approach. Then in removing the tumors they found more in areas of the abdomen (upper) they certainly weren’t expecting, leading them to believe these were behaving a little differently than PMP tumors and demanding a different approach for removal. They simply weren’t going to be able to remove them without getting so vigorous that they risked severe organ damage..and so they backed off. Instead of the 24 hour surgery they were looking at, it was cut to about 9 hours for further assessment. What they needed to do was extract the tumors and send them to a pathologist for deeper study, which will establish the next course of action.

After a few days of impatient waiting, my parents and I met with the doctor, who was quite excited about my current state of recovery. He explained the occurrence during the procedure again and I started following up with questions to get a grasp on what I was facing, which I pretty much understood, but needed to hear directly from him.

“So, this is going to involve chemo treatments down the line now, right?”

– “Yes, we’ll assess you in 3 to 6 weeks to see how you have recovered, make sure you are strong as you can possibly be and then start the treatments.”

“And the treatments will determine how to proceed?”

– “Yes, we need to see if these cancers are going to respond to the chemo treatments. If they do respond and we can shrink them down, we will then perform the HIPEC operation again to go back in and make sure we’ve removed everything possible.”

“Ok, and if the chemo DOESN’T shrink the tumors…if they don’t respond? What does that mean?”

– “Well, if that is the case, there really aren’t any other options for treatment.”

I nodded my head in complete understanding. “Ok….that’s all I really need to know.”

And they soon left after that.

Again, he didn’t say, “You will die”, but that’s what he said.

And so where I hoped at this point I would be slowly beginning my recovery from cancer, figuring out how to best get my life back in order, I’m now faced with not just an extension of this continued trauma, but the very real possibility that I may not HAVE a life that needs to get back in order. Very simply…that.

For now, that is all I can muster to write. Still very much battling the trauma of the operation and necessary recovery procedures, I’m just gonna ride that out for awhile and let it all come as it may. Thank you for being there with me friends. I will now stay in more frequent touch.

 

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25 responses to “Never Say Die…Unless.

  1. You are going to live… I know it and feel it… so realize this and believe it… Many smiles to you in your upcoming journey, in which you will find yourself, at the end, on top of it all! I mean it… Peace to you my friend, Patrick

    • Patrick, I am not one to accept gaurantees in life, no matter how they feel, but I do appreciate your positive words, so thank you. Come what may, we all must make the best of it along the way.

      • Understood my friend… and yes, we all must make the best of it indeed… but I meant what I said, and I’m sticking to it… because I just know it… I have a knack for these things. Nothing but love for you brother, Peace always, Patrick

  2. I have a good friend with inoperable lung cancer (never smoked a day in his life), for whom chemotherapy was the only option. Not only has the chemo worked, but this person fared remarkably well throughout the treatment. I didn’t want to be one of the many who will say, “Well, I have a friend who _________,” but I’m hoping that any positive news is helpful. Please know that many of us are thinking about you. Personally, I am praying for you too. By the way, I believe I may have told you this before, but you are an amazing writer!

    • Thank you for your encouraging words Monica, and the compliments on my writing! I hope to have more positive stories to add to the book of humanity down the road!

  3. Been reading you blog for a bit all I can say is you hang in there. I wish you nothing but the best. I am KenIam74 on twitter.

  4. Praying for you to be cured completely. I’ve seen amazing cures of cancers in friends over the last 5 years and I will pray you are another. Find strength in those who love you and want to take care of you. Sounds like a long road. It’s a good thing you have so many of those who love you.

  5. You’re incredibly strong, Scott.

  6. Hang in there Scott! Keep up your good spirits, stay positive and like you said…Just ride it out, take it a day at a time. I will be following your blog so keep us posted. And yes, you did inspire me to get my behind on the road for a run this morning– 6.6 miles 😉 you do give out a sense of inspiration and great spirit.
    Stay strong.
    This is Lou.

    • Lou! 6.6 miles?! Are you kidding me…that’s awesome! I’m so glad I could have that effect on you and hope that, even if you never run again, that you continue on being the awesome person you are. Expect a post of appreciation on your behalf to come soon. I can’t express enough how much I appreciate that care you gave me in the ICU…you certainly saw me at my lowest. And come up to the seventh floor and say hi if you find the time. Thanks again and keep keepin on!

  7. Words fall hallow right now. I’m sorry, if there is anything you need. Fuck this.

  8. John E. Sowers

    Scott,

    Hang in there my man. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I feel in the very marrow of my bones that you will beat this. This race may be a little longer than expected. I had in envisioned a marathon in some senses for you, but seems like it may be more of an ultra-marathon. I know you can manage this you are an endurance athlete. Dig deep and dig in my man. If there anything I can to let me know.

    Grace & Peace,

    John

    • Thank you for the appropriate metaphor Rev, and thanks for stopping in to see me this week, it was great to see you. I hope to keep offering stories of success and healing as we move along the course. I look forward to your own run reports.

  9. We are all going to die sooner or later. That’s a fact and there’s no way around it. But then, death is not important: what is important is what you choose to do with your life until the moment you die. There are many good things in life to waste time thinking about your own mortality.

    Since I accepted that, I’ve slept like a baby every night and the possibility of my cancer reappearing doesn’t scare me anymore.

    • I hear you Luis. I faced down that frightening prospect in my early 20’s and came out the better for it once I accepted it all and decided to move on with creating the good life in the process. It’s not the finish line that matters, it’s how well you run the race along the way. Take care.

  10. Dammit, dammit, dammit! I don’t want this to be such a bumpy ride. But, since it’s not going to be such smooth sailing, know that we’re all expecting a full, if eventual recovery. Go team, go!

    • I will do my part Mark and y’all can do yours by continuing to get out there and ride! Keep the trails warm for me!

  11. Maureen Milano

    Hi Scott, I work for your Aunt Eileen Busch @ PNC Bank in Phila. I just want you to know that my family and friends are praying for your speedy recovery. I admire your strength and positive attitude.

    • Maureen, Thank you for the encouraging words. I hope to move past this as soon as possible. Say hi to my Aunt for me!

  12. Aunt Trisha and Uncle Denny McGovern

    Hi Scott, Wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Uncle Denny always comments on your strength as a runner.
    Stay Positive, keep Writing and Stay Strong!

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