Very Bad News

The cancer is winning. Hmm. That may be the most difficult sentence I’ve ever written.

The diagnosis came a few hours ago and was totally unexpected. I’m reeling—sad, teary, angry, nauseous, at a loss for action. The latest test, done this morning, shows my cancer has, over the years, gone from low- to high-grade, and from less to more aggressive. It has also become resistant to the chemo treatments I’ve undergone. A CT scan later this week will determine if the illness has spread to other organs.

I knew something was wrong when, after the test, the doctor began to ask me questions never asked before. Had I had prostate cancer surgery (no)? Was I in a relationship (no)? Did I live alone (yes)? Did I have family here (no)? Friends (yes)? When I, in turn, asked the most important question—will I get better?—he simply answered, “No.” He gently explained that I have high-grade CIS cells (carcinoma in situ) that will–sooner rather than later—become invasive, if they have not done so already.

The strange thing is that I feel better physically than I have in months. The prednisone poisoning that shot up my blood sugar count to six times normal is gone. I’ve lost a little weight and am no longer injecting insulin two or three times a day. Life was getting livable again.

The options are very limited. Some drugs may delay the inevitable, but not for long. If the cancer hasn’t spread, I could have surgery to remove my bladder, and then live with a permanent catheter and urostomy bag. I decided many years ago this was not a viable option. I lived with my father when he was forced to endure a colostomy bag and I will not repeat his experience. If the cancer has spread, I have a lot of stuff to do in a relatively short time.

I need to think things over. I’m going for a walk.


About epiphanettes

Writer, songcrafter, possibly the best French pedal steel guitarist in Virginia.
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4 Responses to Very Bad News

  1. Melissa says:

    Thierry, I am here to help in any way.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Fuck. I’m so sorry. When you’re ready, let me know how I can help. Love you so.

  3. Fuck cancer. Seriously.

  4. Etienne says:

    Hi Terry, I’m very sorry to read your this. I have always remembered you when I was sick with cancer years ago cheering me up. I never imagined the tables would be turned. The only piece of advice I can give you is keep fighting, keep laughing and even if it all gets you down remember we are all behind you, your not alone.

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