Well in the case of waiting for the results of the bladder tumor biopsy no news was very bad news. The urologist called me late Friday to let me know that, unfortunately the bladder tumor was malignant, appearing to be a result of the colorectal cancer. The odd part is, if you remember back from our Colorectal Cancer 101 lesson, this cancer typically spreads to liver and lungs. Not bladder. <Insert a WTF? here> The good thing though, she tells me, is that the Colorectal Tumor Board was meeting Tuesday and my case would be front and center. The Tumor Board meets twice a month and cases are presented for a group evaluation and opinion. In attendance would be my oncologist, my surgeon, my radiation doctor and now my new best friend my urologist (along with others in their field). Dr Liu (urologist) had been so attentive and amazing so far that I mentioned if she thought about it could she call me and let me know how the Tumor Board went, especially since all the grumpy old men on my team wouldn't.
From here on out so much happens so fast that it's easier to break it down by day.
Saturday: I go to LB Memorial hospital for a CT scan to see what can't be seen otherwise. Results in 2 days.
Monday: Dr. Liu calls and asks Tim and I to come in to her office the next day, after the Tumor Board meeting.
Tuesday: I'm dragging feet to Dr. Liu's office because there won't be any good news, rather I'll be told all of the new torture they are planning to inflict now. This is where you might want to be sitting down (or pouring a stiff drink) because the news just kept getting worse. It's never a good sign when your doctor comes in with tears in her eyes, let's just put it that way. She tells us they got the CT scan results in time for the Tumor Board, and not only is the tumor in my bladder way more invasive and extensive than they thought, but now the cancer has spread to both lungs. Fuckity fuck! The unanimous decision was to find a new chemo and go hard(er) core. BUT, there's a new problem. See above diagram. Apparently there is pressure being put on my two ureters (the tubes that drain urine from kidneys to bladder). They are being pinched. Without proper flow down the kidneys will back up and I could go into renal failure. In addition no one will put me under chemo if my kidneys aren't functioning 100%. So we have two options to proper flow. Option A, she says, is installing stents (think straws) that would be a new drain from kidneys to bladder. She doesn't recommend this option because once in they are very painful, I'll feel the need to urinate every 15 mins, there will be a lot of blood in my urine, and overall the stents are one big irritation. She's put them in patients only to have them call a few days later demanding she remove them. Swell. So tell me about Option B. "So what we do (she says) is install tubes into your kidneys and run them out through your back and these two tubes then drain into these..." at this point I am adamantly shaking my head no..."BAGS that collect the urine". Nope. Unh unnh. No way Jose. NO MORE BAGS! And they're not temporary. Stents it is! So I have an outpatient surgery scheduled for 1/27/17.
Tim and I leave her office in shock after hearing that the cancer is now in my lungs and showing no signs of slowing down. We were told it wouldn't hurt to get an Advanced Directive in order.
Wednesday: 7am my oncologist calls me at home and wants Tim and I to come to his office that afternoon. He admits my treatment is absolutely not working, saying my cancer "is just laughing at chemo". I am a unique case (of course) because traditional treatment, treatment that helps most everyone, has failed me. Something's missing. The oncologist order a new panel of tests to be done on my original colorectal tumor, hoping to find the missing link. Results from that in early February but in the meantime get those kidneys functioning or it's a no go. On it Doc.
Thursday (today): Now my surgeon calls me and asks Tim and I to come in to see him today. Boy oh boy, my girl Dr. Liu rattled these guys cages and woke them up that's for sure.
So plan still yet to be determined but at least we're all paying attention now. Now let's kick some ass!