Despite what I said last post we do get anxious just before we get the results of PET scans. This time was no different because of the breathing problem. It could have meant that cancer had moved from bones to lungs.
Karen was very silent on the ride to the Cancer Center; there wasn't much I could say to lighten the mood. We rode quietly with our own thoughts.
Luckily the scan indicates that the cancer remains relatively inactive and hasn't continued its spread. Big sighs of relief in the exam room and hugs with Dr. Levy.
We've weathered another storm. It's odd not knowing whether we're drowning until after the fact.
Side effects could be side effects or they could be the cancer; we never know until the PET scans give us feedback. Karen has been getting one about every three months or the max our doc can get from the insurance co.
The breathing problems and need for so much supplemental oxygen still needs to be addressed. Today Karen is having another thoracentesis. (fluid removed from around her lung) which should provide some relief. It's painful and this will be the third time she's had to endure the procedure. Her anxiety is high just remembering the pain from the last one. It seems like a procedure that they should give a general for but for some reason they don't. We've only gotten vague reasons form the radiologists who perform the procedure, which leads us to believe it's a cost saving decision rather than a medical necessity.
All the treatments seem as bad as the disease these days.
Where and why is the fluid accumulating? We're not sure....the chemo treatment itself, or the steroid which give her some energy and appetite are possibilities but we can't really stop them because they are the finger in the dike.
Photo: William Evertson - waiting room sketch of us hiding from the storm under umbrellas
William and Karen - Karen and I have been married for 41 years. Karen's breast cancer has reached stage 4. This is what happens next.