Last Wednesday, was my birthday and I spent it at the hospital. I had an 8:45 and an 11:30 appt and spent hours and hours literally, waiting. I'm actually used to that and brought my Physiology book (which I hate) and "The Memory Keepers Daughter" with me (which I finished while waiting). Since the Summer, I have been toying with the idea of having the nodules removed from both my lungs. The large one had been growing slowly and since I had awhile to go before it would grow enough to open the sealed file on the Brivanib trial, I did not feel comfortable letting it get that big. I was sent to see the Thoracic surgeon and the question of the day was "Would he operate?" The answer I was hoping for was "Yes!" and that is the answer that I got. How crazy is a world where surgery is a good thing? In my world, it is because it means there are options. So, sometime during Christmas break, I will go through surgery again and it will be less intense than the last one. Three to four days in the hospital will be all that is required and then I can start over. I don't know what the future will bring. I don't think my battle with Sarcoma will be completely over. Once one enters this world, it's rare that we leave it completely. Even patients 10 years out are subject to yearly scans and appointments with the Oncologists. Without a viable chemotherapy option, recurrence will have to be dealt with in the realm of experimental but I will cross those bridges when I come to them. For now, I will say Adieu to the Brivanib trial. On Tuesday, I will head to the hospital, hand in my leftovers, go through a post trial interview, turn in my med diary and say goodbye to some of the people that have been keeping an eye on me these past two years. Other than a complete remission, this is the BEST way to leave a trial and for those that stumble on this blog looking for information on Brivanib, I wish you the same success that I enjoyed with almost 2 years of stability under my belt to show for it and hopefully a closed door on this chapter of the journey. For those with MPNST or any form of Sarcoma, I hope that me and some of the others I met on this trial gave you a weapon, an option to add to a meager pile of chemotherapy choices. The most distressing side effect I encountered was dramatic weight gain which I am slowly in my middle aged-ness taking off bit by bit. In December, a new chapter begins hopefully with an acceptance to Nursing school and a path to clear some of the debt that I have incurred through two years of constant treatments and wonderful "unemployment". My efforts to find gainful employment have not led to anything but a lot of rejection letters and a maxed out credit card but, I have faith it will get better and given the choice between debt and death, I'll take the debt.
The large circle of life is composed of hundreds of little circles that weave and interconnect with each other. Childhood, adulthood, marriage, divorce, all a part of the larger picture. Life should teach us that virtually nothing on this plain of existence is permanent and all are subject to changes, good and bad. There are is a continuity between each circle as all those lessons we learn from each phase, every person that we ever meet or know, is carried from one life journey to the next. There is never a finished creation of ourselves because we ALL change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Cancer is a circle that never ends. It's impossible that even if I achieve remission, that I can ever fully close and forget all the people that I met on this leg of the life journey. I will carry you all with me and modify the relationship. I feel like I'm standing on the edge of something greater, me with all my debt and uncertainty and I can't wait to see what it is.