Friday, April 24, 2015

Life In The Slow Lane

I posted the good news yesterday about Chad and No Chemo! Now that I am sitting down at a computer, I thought I would elaborate for our friends and family who are following this journey.

This cancer isn't new but it is rare and due to so many misdiagnosis in the early years, there's a lot left that is unknown. There are a few things we know now about this cancer that we didn't - say - 15 years ago. As with any cancer, the best chance at beating this is catching it early. Followed by ensuring your get the best treatment. That treatment depends on your pathology and that is where things get tricky.

When we left Baltimore, Dr. Sardi said chemo would not be necessary. As far as he was concerned, Chad was cancer free. The biggest fear to him, is recurrence. Some people who were in the same boat as Chad, did do chemotherapy. Preventative or Maintenance - to decrease their chance of recurrence.

I've always been of the position, that we attack it aggressively and even if it's only a 5% assist in avoiding recurrence, it's worth it. But that's easy for me to say - I'm not the one who had to do it. I've struggled with the possibility of chemo from the day we heard no lymph node involvement! Had there been cancer invasion there, chemotherapy would've been required. Due to it not spreading - it ended up being a personal choice. Chad's choice. And he didn't want it. (Who would? I hardly imagine anyone goes to sleep at night hoping they get to try some chemo in the morning)

My fear? That his fear would hinder his chance at remaining cancer free. So I put thought into it. I put research into it. And I put prayer into it. I decided not to push it. Go with the flow and see what the Oncologist said. When he said there was less than 1% benefit - it seemed a no brainer. For all we know, since so little is known about appendix cancer - it would've hurt more than it helped. Chad already has so many issues to deal with, no sense adding potentially devistating side effects to the plate because let's face it - Chemo is hard on the body.

So our plan?

In three weeks we will return to Illinois where they will perform further blood tests and a CT Scan. They will use this CT Scan to compare it to his future scans for cancer and also to make sure that everything has gone back to where it is supposed to.

Then he will continue to have his blood work every 3 months and CT Scans every 6, in hopes that we never ever, ever, ever, EVER see this godawful, hateful and disgusting disease again.

In the mean time, he has some new pain medication that is supposed to speak to his brain and tell it to stop recognizing this scar tissue as something hurtful. God willing, Chad continues to get a little better day by day and within the next 6-8 weeks, real life resumes.

Financially speaking, it's going to be very, very tight. So that's a concern but we'll work through it! if anyone in Murray has any side work that doesn't require him to bend or lift anything heavy, Let us know! (Ha ha)

Many thanks to those who still follow along with these far-too-long-and-too-informed blog posts. We appreciate your love, prayers and support!

Chad and Shan

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