Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2B or not 2B

Yesterday I received my pathology report, and for what it's worth, my cancer has been staged as "2B." I say "for what it's worth" because my Oncologist may stage it differently based on the blood work and CT scan I will have before beginning my chemo. And also because it's just a number (with a trailing letter.) I think we all know or have heard of people who have died from lesser cancers and survived greater cancers.

In all, my surgeon removed twenty-five lymph nodes from around my pancreas. Nine of them came back cancerous. Twenty-five would have been worse - one would have been great. Not unexpected news.

As for the tumour itself, the margins surrounding it came back cancer-free, which is nice. Also not unexpected news.

The tumour had grown quite quickly. I am willing to believe this since I felt pretty fit all spring and summer, when it was likely just a cute little baby tumour.

I can't recall the big word used to describe my tumour, but I do think that it meant the cells were poorly differentiated, which limits the variety of chemotherapies available to me.

What none of the above changes is the severity of chemo I will undergo. What made me an unlikely candidate for this disease continues to work in my favour when it comes to beating it. My young age, physical fitness and (cookies and ice cream aside) healthy lifestyle mean I am able to absorb the most effective/brutal treatment they can throw at me.

Six months (or more) of discomfort and misery is a pretty cheap lottery ticket if the prize is a few more decades of life.

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