Since December 6, 2011, the day I got my diagnosis, cancer has ruled my life.
After that, it was four surgeries followed by a year of chemo followed by five years–currently in progress–of quarterly tests and checks and appointments and driving to and from Indy a million times for blood work.
In the midst of that, in April 2014, Emmett’s diagnosis shifted everything. His surgeries. His chemo. His appointments, blood work, Purdue days.
Then Lukey’s diagnosis in March. Amputation. Chemo. Blood work. Radiology. More of it all so that we are either driving to Indy or West Lafayette every month. More often, though, there is a vet appointment or a doctor’s appointment every week.
After my initial staging, there was one fact that came up that John repeats often, “You were literally one millimeter from ‘all we can do is keep her comfortable’ versus being a candidate for chemo.”
With Emmett, it was a statistical given that he only had three to six months left.
Emmett and I beat every odd stacked against us. We continue to beat those odds–two weeks ago, I surpassed two years of being cancer free, and last week Emmett surpassed a year and a half. Statistical anomalies.
I wish with my whole heart, my entire being, every single scrap of my soul that everyone could be so lucky.
Lucas unfortunately, devastatingly is not.
On July 2, his radiographs were clear. This past week, tumors riddled his lungs. The chemo didn’t work. Metastatic osteosarcoma.
They’re not small. They showed up within six weeks. It’s not good. We were presented with three options: Do nothing but make him comfortable, bring him up to Purdue for weekly chemo IVs, or try an oral chemo at home. Neither chemo has been studied on his particular cancer, so effectiveness isn’t known nor is it known whether one version is better than the other. We’ve opted for the at-home version simply because we want to give him a fighting chance versus doing nothing, but we don’t want to make his last couple months a stressful round of drives and vet visits.
He can’t start until his white and platelet counts come back up, though, so we need to make peace with the fact that he might not end up being a candidate. We’ll know more later today. If he can start, and if he tolerates it, they’ll check tumor growth six weeks later. If he can’t start or if he doesn’t tolerate it, the discussion will change.
This isn’t where I thought we’d be today. We’ve been dangling by the cancer noose since 2011. Waiting. Watching. Panicking at every sign, symptom, test. For me and Emmett. Not Lucas. We’ve had time to mentally and emotionally deal with each step in the process. For me and Emmett.
This thing with Lucas? It swooped in and wrecked every mental and emotional defense we’ve built over all these years of fighting.
Here’s the thing about cancer: It’s indiscriminate. It’s unfair. It’s cruel.
I effing hate cancer.