The day, week, really the whole month after finding out I officially have mets (metastasis) to my liver has been nothing short of an emotional roller coaster. Overnight, I went from no considered stage to Stage4 metastatic melanoma. Like I wasn’t scared out of my mind before….well, I surely am now.
Although some days have felt like years, the past month navigating and deciding my treatment has luckily flown by. Working, managing kids schedules and just normal life helps truly enjoy yet suppress our reality.
I have said since day one, if there are options – there is HOPE. To date, I have many options and my care team has expanded to another city and could not be more grateful.
The past month I have spent time back on the MRI and CT bed, countless emails, phone calls, zoom meetings etc but my plan is official.
Paul and I will head out to Philadelphia – Thomas Jefferson, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. I am lucky to now have experts in CO, NY and PA all part of my team and onboard with my plan.
While in Philly I will undergo a surgery and treatment called immunoembolization. Immunoembolization involves injecting cytokines (drugs which stimulate or modulate immune responses) directly into the arteries supplying the liver, combined with embolization of the hepatic artery. I will undergo this once for half of my liver and then fly back again for the other half. Although we are only seeing 2 tumors, the thought process with OM is there are probably many more and the immunoembolization will kill the ones we know and also the ones we can’t see but assume they are there. After this is completed twice, I will undergo more scans and then probably rinse and repeat the procedure indefinitely. Best case, I do this procedure many times – my tumors shrink and no more are found within my liver or ANYWHERE in my body. Worse case – the treatment doesn’t work, and lesions growth spread within my liver and land elsewhere in my body. If that happens, there are already promising trials BUT….pray I buy time for a long time before need to consider another option.
At this point, I am buying time. Buying time to enjoy life. I guess – we are all just buying time though, right? I have known way too many (we all know way to many) that have been taken from this earth way to early. SO – although I know what my future COULD hold, I encourage all to enjoy the day as we each buy time to live and love!
Totally unimportant to the above but I in the past month I also had my 6th eye surgery. This one was the most minor but after my last fat derma graph eye surgery a fat bump or as Connelly calls is my villain mosquito bite never absorbed. The surgery was to remove the fat bump so my eye can fully open. Again- not normal but add to my fun list. Hoping this is my last eye surgery for at least a couple of years. But…like I have always said – I’ll accept a wonky eye, I’ll accept anything with my eye as long as I am not dealing with mets. Well – now I have a wonky eye and mets. Guess I’ll accept that too, deal with it and live life.
The good reality: Basketball season is gearing up for all 3 kids (I LOVE BASKETBALL SEASON) Although, I need to remember that Cannon is taller and heavier than I am now and when I say…stop being weak – go to the basket strong, I better brace myself. I was on the block ready to block him and for a moment I thought I dislocated my shoulder, lol. Knowing my beliefs on an aggressive basketball player, I was crying in pain and super proud of my boy).
ENJOY YOUR DAY AND DO WHAT YOU CAN AS WE ALL BUY TIME IN THIS LIFE!