Meta - beyond.
-stasis - stopping or controlling.
I am now (as of my graduation last night) a certified medical assistant so I am really, really proficient in the terminology department.
It has been a pretty big shocker to find out, two months after a CT scan with no visible evidence of disease (just the several old rib fractures and scarring in the lung), fun radiation side effect), that my right clavicular and mediastinal lymph nodes, my lungs, and my liver all have breast cancer in them. It is ER+, PR+, and HER2+. It has a high Pi67 number which says that it is fast growing. Between the time I found all this out and now (three and a half weeks), I started a regimen of chemo, my daughter graduated high school as a valedictorian (brag brag), I finished and graduated from my program. Needless to say it is a most surreal time. It is difficult to focus on enjoying my time with my husband, kids, and friends while trying to steer clear of being angry and depressed. Now that would really be a waste of time. But I am pretty angry at times, and pretty depressed anyway.
My chemotherapy is taxotere, pertuzumab, and trastuzemab. The first and third I had before. The second is a new targeted therapy for HER2 that was not approved at the time I was being treated just a year and a half ago. I will have three rounds, at three week intervals, then scans to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment. If it is going well (I am told that a 20% reduction in cancer presence is a good result for that interval) I will have the remaining three rounds and work from there.
I now have stage IV cancer, and am trying to adjust to the fact that for as long as I live (there is no way to predict how it will go) I will have cancer. I will never not have cancer. My treatment is not with intent to cure but with intent to tamp down the cancer and prolong life. My cancer is incurable, but treatable. People sometimes live years and years with metastatic cancer, and sometimes they don't. Everyone is different and no one's story can be a predictor of someone else's story.
My goal is pretty simple. I would like to spend as much time as possible with Jon, Ani, and Tim. I would like to see Ani settled in college with friends and a support network.
Is any if this really shocking? Not so much, as statistics bear out over and over again, but I continue to be shocked each day when I wake up and remember what is happening.
One thing I know: my husband is awesome, my kids are awesome, and my friends are awesome.