Well after all that - after two months of arranging life to accommodate the chemo schedule, and getting lots of help with kids and care through two rounds, and dealing with side effects and losing the hair, and losing Louisa's dad Frank and having the funeral, and a whole lot of intention, prayer, light, positive juju etcetera - the scans showed no appreciable change in the tumor size, to our dismay. They haven't grown, which is good, and there aren't any new ones, which is also good. But they didn't shrink, and what we really wanted was shrinkage. That was the deal. But…there is no "deal." Not the way it works. This thing just happens to be pretty cagey. Take a breath. In, out. Keep doing that.
My doctor prescribed recovery time and getting into "tip top condition" before we regroup in a couple of weeks to see about clinical trial options. Immunotherapy is the most promising area of research. The whole approach is opposite of chemo: use drugs to enhance the body's immune response (and attack the cancer cells like they inherently should) versus use drugs to kill all fast-growing cells.
This is a shifting of gears but something we knew was a possibility. I never said it was going to be a smooth ride now did I? Buckle up. Stay positive. Keep your eye on the horizon.
On the way home from receiving the scan information I stopped at a red light. Homeless man approached. My windows were open anyway. "Hang on," I reached into my wallet to give him a few bills. "Now you take care of yourself!" I said. He didn't look good. He looked pained, but he was staring at my scarf. "Oh…" his brow furrowed. "Can I ask you a personal question? Do you have cancer?" "Yeah. It sucks," I replied, giving him a couple more bills. "What's your name, dear?" he asked. "Elizabeth." "I'm going to say a prayer for you." "OK," I smiled. We fist-bumped. The light turned green.