Friday, April 30, 2010

Grim News

It's Always Something

All these years later, I still miss Gilda Radner. I loved her characters, especially Roseanne Rosanadana, who would wryly comment that "It's always something...if it's not one thing, it's another!"

Fighting fourth-stage cancer can be like that. On March 20, I hiked 300' straight up the side of a mountain -- with my hiking partners wearing out just as quickly as me (if not sooner). I started working on the post about it, but was tied up with a special project that kept me from finishing it.

Then, on April 6, I got home from my weekly infusion to discover that the left half of my face was frozen---the muscles had stopped working. I now had an Elvis sneer instead of a smile.

My oncologist, suspicious on January 12 when I had the hearing loss in my left ear, was clear: cancer has probably metastasized to the base of my brain. He wasted no time, and by April 9 we had an answer for the symptoms: a tumour right on the cerebral nerves plus another in the soft tissue between the brain and the ear. Worse yet, there are cancer cells/lesions on the spinal nerve and on the leptomeninges.

I, of course, refuse to give up fighting. My oncologist sent me to the best specialists in the nation, and we have agreed upon a plan to beat the cancer back into remission once and for all time. Tomorrow, I will start a new drug. Monday, I will have a form of concentrated radiation to the brain to ablate the tumours there; it's called Cyberknife and you can read about it on the internet.

So, as I stay busy beating those damned spots out, I've gone ahead and posted the pictures so you can at least see them. I will finish the text (and photograph labels) as I can.

You can find the post for the March 20th hike right below.

The second day of the Sierra trip (unfinished text and labels) is here:

And you can BET that I am STILL out there hiking! I've been on little trips since I was diagnosed with this new metastasis, but my balance centers are affected enough that I try to keep it somewhat mellow!

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