Last Monday’s upper endoscopy showed that my tumor is NOT gone, as I was led to believe by my doctor earlier.
Now, another six sessions of chemo later—although it has decreased in size (by about 30% in the esophagus and 50% in the stomach area)—it is still pretty much there. Small wonder I still cannot swallow without chewing everything but drinks to mash.
Waiting on the latest PET scan results to make their way to my doctor, although now I am not sure how reliable the interpretation of those will be, remembering that the previous scan, describing my tumor as essentially completely resolved, was—while making my Christmas very enjoyable and full of hopes—nevertheless, very much off.
At least I hope they were off, because, if my tumor was indeed dissolved by Christmas, and now is at 50%-70% of its size at the moment of detection, it can only mean that it is growing.
The side-by-side comparison of this new sets of photos with the one from September did give me an impression that it is the same formation and that it is reducing in size. But what do I know, it can just as well be that thing, growing back.
PET scan results came in. My oncologist insists that everything is stable and at the same time claims that he’d seen the upper endoscopy results and spoke to the gastroenterologist who performed it. According to both, I am making slow and steady progress.
I still do not understand what happened to the essentially completely resolved situation. Going from 4% survival rate to your main tumor is gone and then back to slow and steady progress is slightly unsettling.
But it could have been worse. The twelve weeks I was given in September, have passed a long time ago. I made it through this battle; not without some casualties among my troops—those being my fingers, toes, and lips—which is more of an annoyance, considering the other option.
It is rather funny that my fingers are losing the only one feeling that matters—touch. The rest are still there. I can barely control a knife, but if I cut myself, it does hurt. I also feel temperature—hot things hurt, cold ones make my fingers freeze instantly.
I have a friend who has multiple sclerosis. She has similar symptoms, only hers are not self-inflicted (she did not select chemo, it is the disease which is slowly killing her) and irreversible. The latter might be true for me as well, judging by the sour smile that crawled upon my doctor’s face, when I asked him about it.
Enough of Fun Stuff, Back to the Boring Writing Business
I have kept telling myself that I am one scene away from finishing the Interludes for almost two weeks now, and technically it has been so, but that damned last scene, which wrote itself—I have to give it that—split in two and really wanted to split again, which I resisted rather resolutely (avoid alliterations), and—the Interludes are done!
The tally of words is 516,076 at the time of this rant. I have to return to the main storyline and there are many things to manage—might have to re-read all Verra’s scenes just to be able to get back into her head—and even more to invent. I just realized that I have an awesome mechanical contraption which is absolutely underutilized. Now I have to make certain adjustments to it so it can be used for something else. Oh, the joy of discovery writing…
Meanwhile—finishing The Desert Spear (Demon Cycle Book II) by P. V. Brett. While I enjoy the story, I am having a major problem with his approach to worldbuilding of the land of Krasia and their culture. To me, it is clearly cloned Islamic country with an addition of the demon-fighting layer. Everything—from clothing to treating women, and even calling all the foreigners infidels—screams sharia law state with some very recognizable terms simply renamed, jihad being called Sharak Sun, etc., etc.
It feels to me much like a shortcut. I do draw heavily on the Mid-Eastern and Mediterranian cultures when building the land of Zurbah, yet I hope the result is more different than similar.
Well, time will show. I hope.
Also published on Medium.