Karen's PET scan was bad news all around. The months on the chemo drug Gemzar didn't slow the cancer. Even a little. In fact the cancer has spread to lymph nodes around the lungs and worse still to the liver.
We began the new year hoping for a break or a plateau but for cancer hope is just another four letter word.
This is the first time a drug has had no effect although we did try a newly approved hormone that Karen's body couldn't tolerate. So as our doctor put it, we generally don't give up until we've had three failures unless we decide that the treatments are just too much to take.
Karen does not want to give in. Our next best option is a drug called Doxil. It's not something she can stay on long term because it also damages the heart.
Our first step is to have an echocardiogram to see if her heart is in good enough shape to begin this therapy.
Then we get to see which of the side effects we'll face; always the worst part of these finger in the dike treatments.
Yesterday was punch to the gut day and today is pick ourselves up and try to get on with living and love.
Photo - William Evertson - Detail from my woodcut in progress with Icarus falling.
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.