One Last Cancer Update
This will likely be my last update on my health for a good while. I know, I know, you really want more detailed info on my groin incision and back pains and various other bodily issues. But, sorry, this will be my last.
So, as you may have read, gentle reader, I have cancer. Sort of.
I mean, they did find some cancer cells in one of the lymph nodes they removed. But the PET scan showed no other signs of cancer.
It did, of course, show other things within me: profound wisdom; a gentle, loving spirit; deep humility; yesterday's Chick-fil-a.
But I digress.
I have about a 10-12 percent chance of the cancer returning at some point. Dr. Meyer referred me to a different oncologist to discuss options. We will call him Dr. S.
Dr. S says that immunotherapy, in my particular case, would only improve my odds by about 10 percent. So instead of a 10 percent chance of the cancer coming back, it would be perhaps 9 percent. Hardly worth it considering the side effects.
What side effects? All of them. All conceivable side effects, short of pregnancy, are in play here.
Okay, not really. But he did list a lot, some of which might be irreversible.
So, yeah, no immunotherapy.
He then said that the result of one test had not come back yet: the test for a genetic mutation called B-RAF; If that test came back positive, it would change his recommendation.
A half-hour later the test came back.
And guess what...
I AM A MUTANT!
I have the B-RAF mutation! WooHoo!
Now, I have watched enough super-hero movies to know one thing about mutations: they give you SUPERPOWERS!
Peter Parker got spider strength and the ability to climb walls. Wolverine got the ability to self-heal. Storm can control the weather. Cyclops can open portals to another dimension.
And what does my mutation do?
It...makes cancers cells grow faster.
Yeah, it turns out Marvel is not a reliable guide to the medical effects of genetic mutations. Who knew?
Dr. S. said I, in fact, have the rarest variety of the mutation, one that occurs in less than one percent of those who have B-RAF.
Because of that, there are exactly zero studies that show any of the chemo meds available would be effective in my case.
The upshot of all this is that while I am insurance-approved for going on the oral chemo meds, Dr. S. is recommending that I forego those, and just continue to get examined every few months for a couple years, and have twice-yearly scans.
And that is what I am going to do.
I fell pretty good about this.
After all, since my variation of the mutation is so rare, who's to say that it might not give me super-powers after all.
I'm hoping for Joel Osteen's hair