There's a joke on the show "Archer" where one of the characters will mention that they have good news and bad news. Archer (or one of the other characters) will say "Woo hoo" or show complete approval, only to be corrected: "You do know how the whole 'Good News, Bad News' thing works, don't you?"
So, Good News / Bad News:
I met with Dr. Raofi today to get an update on what my plans of care might be. The "Good News" is that they have several plans that can be put into play to treat my cancer. Depending on how radiation of the rectal cancer proceeds, and the subsequent imaging I might be a candidate for removing some of the tumors in my liver (through cutting, burning, or whatever other methods are available). If that's the case then I might be undergoing surgery as early as October 31st (pending scheduling and what-not). If there's no complications then it's five days in the hospital and around 4-6 weeks for shipping... erm, I mean recovery.
That's the best-case scenario, barring any miracles.
"You do know how the whole 'Good News, Bad News' thing works, don't you?"
The bad news is that they might not even elect to do surgery based on the results of the radiation treatment / imaging. I'm right at that edge where they're not sure if there would be any long-term benefit. The chemo has been working remarkably well, but eventually cancer learns how to adapt. They're also projecting my chance of recurrence (e.g.: cancer coming back for an encore) at anywhere from 70-90%.
So worst case I stick around on chemo until that's no longer effective for keeping things at bay. I'm sure you can work out the end results of that strategy.
Best case they remove the larger tumors and hope that chemo can knock things out or at least keep them from spreading until the chemo stops working. Worst case, they leave them there and wait until the chemo stops working.
Again, barring any miracles (which I believe are in short-supply these days).
I'm remarkably OK with this. After my discussions with Dr. Jaiyesimi I had a hunch that we were in the phases of figuring out how to get thing to behave long-enough until they didn't anymore. I've been making peace with the fact that I might have fewer and fewer options for care. This just confirms it. My days of fucking around are pretty much at an end. I'm not sure how many more years of good health I have in me, but at some point the cancer is going to overtake me. Whether that happens in my 50s or later is yet to be determined, but it's something I'm becoming keenly aware of.
This has gotten me to really evaluate what is essential. I'm going to be doing another decluttering round to cull a lot of the nice-to-have-but-not-essential stuff that we have. I'm not sure what the future holds for me but I want to make sure that I have as much clarity and focus as possible to make that happen. The ol' someday/maybe list is also getting a major culling as well.
I hope I'm around for many years to make the world a slightly weirder place, but I can't take that for granted anymore. I need to make the best of whatever time I have left. That's not me being maudlin, that's just being pragmatic.
More as I know it.