At Long Last, Hope

How are ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Portland?

Today was Will’s appointment with one of the Pacific Coast’s best surgical oncologists, who works at the university hospital. This gentleman turned out to be an unassuming guy who wears a suit and tie, but still gets a kick out of his job and has a wicked sense of humor. And praise God, he gave us some of the best possible news: There is a drug that he helped to develop which can stop the progression of Will’s cancer in its tracks!

It’s terribly expensive, along the lines of eight thousand dollars per month, but the drug manufacturer gives it away to people who can’t afford it (at the cost of some paperwork). That’s because this oral medication is known to keep Stage IV patients alive for YEARS, even some with more aggressive liver metastases than Will’s. The doctor cited one patient who’s still around after five years without any tumor growth. And nobody knows how long the actual survival can be, because it’s only been available for five years.

The other great news is that there are no mets to his stomach or bowel, meaning there is NO cause for obstruction. Hallelujah!! I was so afraid he’d developed something like that, and that we’d be battling blockages forever. Now all we have to do is prevent him from getting, um, stopped up in the first place, and since he’s pretty motivated to avoid THAT awkward situation again, I think he’ll be able to continue eating and gaining strength.

And he is gaining strength……he’s been up and about more in the past three days than he has in the past three WEEKS. Now that he’s got hope on top of that, I’m already seeing his transformation from a man who was getting ready to die of cancer, to one who’s ready to live with cancer.

There is, of course, no guarantee that the treatment will work, and we know that; but for a couple who were resigning themselves to death’s inevitability just a week ago, we’re rapidly adjusting to the idea that we may yet have more good years together…….that there might be a 33rd wedding anniversary after all. And if the Fates smile on us, maybe even a 34th and a 35th, and then some.

For now, however, we’ll just take one day at a time and make each and every one count. After all, not everyone gets a second chance, and even if things don’t work out the way we hope, at least we have hope…….and just for today, that’s all we need. 🙂



Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

4 thoughts on “At Long Last, Hope

    1. Thank you, Kelly. I am a believer in the power of prayer, and this proves it beyond the shadow of a doubt. A week ago, we both thought he was on his way out, had hospice on board, and were preparing for the end. Now he’s strong enough to walk the dog and he even drove to the store this morning. Amazing!


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