Well, that was a good three years without cancer. Maxine’s incredible bone marrow is still going strong, but now the osteosarcoma in my sinus that was supposed to be scorched by radiation 10 years ago has decided to make a comeback. And unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that.
A past two week’s worth of scans and biopsies found lesions in my liver and in a lymph node in my neck. The biopsies (which I took without sedation so they could get better samples, thank you very much) are still pending. Pathology has had to do multiple stains to figure out what we’re dealing with in the liver.
Suffice it to say, even the big dogs at Mayo Clinic are perplexed. As you can imagine, my path forward for treatment is a bit complicated given past treatments have left me with two sets of DNA, among other oddities. I have seemingly every other cancer screening test you can think of this week and I’m hoping the big game plan conversation happens soon, as the nerves of not knowing while these tumors continue to stretch in the meantime is taxing.
Yes, the past 10 years have been filled with what I think is a fair share of adversity, but as I said to Dr. Arndt and my mom when I was told again that I had cancer, man, has it been a good 10 years. Since that first osteosarcoma I have (re)met and married a man who doesn’t let a day go by without saying and showing he loves me, or making me laugh incessantly with mostly middle school-grade humor. I went to college and graduated, moved to Washington, DC, Chicago and Iowa City. I met so many of you along the way. I deepened friendships. I loved the crap out of my family.
Thank you all who made what was a difficult birthday so uplifting. From the makeshift party in Iowa City to the surprise party in New Ulm, to all the Facebook posts, calls and messages – thank you. Many of you have asked what you can say or what you can do to help. As far as what to say, who the heck knows. As far as what to do, you can support my core support team – my family. This cancer devastates and exhausts them just as it does me, and anything you do for any of us is appreciated by all of us.
I’m not sure if or how often I’ll write, but thank you for sticking with me through all of this.
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