Things just got a little more interesting around here.
The routine MRI I had on October 5 revealed a 20mm lesion in my cerebellum.
My oncologist and another from whom I got an unofficial second opinion are very optimistic that this thing can be easily zapped with stereotatic radiosurgery (also called Cyber or Gamma knife surgery), which isn't surgery at all but a very precise form of radiation. Treatments are few (between 1 and 5 sessions) and cause very few side effects.
It's a really weird feeling knowing I have a cancerous mass in my brain. It does explain all the falling down (the cerebellum controls balance). I've always been clumsy but the last few months have been ridiculous.
I'm having a harder time dealing with the fact that the cancer has returned. I've been in remission, or NED, for five years. It's become easy to entertain the fantasy that the cancer was gone for good. My oncologist has even mused about that possibility.
This relatively little (I'm assured it's small by medical standards) tumour is a sobering wake-up call. I have Stage 4 breast cancer. That is always going to be true.
Still, I continue to be lucky. Herceptin came onto the market in time to save my life. Ottawa is only one of three Canadian cities to have Cyber knife technology and that is only as of this summer. Time is once again on my side.
So please join me in not freaking out (or in only freaking out a little bit). Life around here continues as normal (or at least our version of it). The day after finding out about the tumour I joined Weight Watchers. How mundanely optimistic is that?
I'll know more once I meet with the radiation oncologist. Meanwhile, I really want this t-shirt:
I'd order it, except that Ihopefully would only get to wear it a couple of times before I'd have to change "have" to "had." I don't want to waste my money.