So, let's get down and dirty. I have been reading the "Complete Guide to Colorectal Cancer" by the American Cancer Society.
I have a hard time with this book. It is equal parts encouraging and discouraging.
There are typically IV stages to cancer....however keep in mind that stage II has A and B, and stage III has A, B, and C. IV has only IV. Like me, myself and I. DARN IT anyway. People in stage IV statistically speaking have less than 10% survival rate past 5 yrs.
LeSS than 10%, beyond 5 yrs? What the....?????
Then there are variables. Always variables when you talk statistics. I have always hated statistics and only passed that class in graduate school because of the kindness of my professor (thats what I believe anyway).
Variables such as, what age you were diagnosed, what your lifestyle is presently, your attitude, your faith, how you approach your diagnosis and treatment...etc... I could go on and on.
As far as treatment; When I got my diagnosis I had no choice but to have surgery immediately to remove the tumor that was obstructing my colon.
Radiation is not an option in my case as Radiation treatment is very different and not appropriate for tackling my lungs. Chemo was the approach my Doctors took from the start. Here is a quick review of the meds I am taking.
1~ 5-Fluorouracil otherwise known as 5-FU. It is most commonly used to treat colorectal cancer and for decades it was the only one.
In conjuction with the 5-FU I get Leucovorin which is given as part of the 5-FU regimen to boost the effectiveness of it, but is not technically a chemo drug.
2~Oxaliplatin is an alkylating agent, working directly on DNA during all phases of the cell cycle to prevent the cancer cell from reproducing and is also used in conjunction with 5-FU and Leucovorin to treat metastatic colorectal cancer.
3~Bevacizumab, or Avastin, is a monoclonal antibody. Avastin is relatively new and I feel lucky to be able to have insurance cover it. Some insurances only cover it for certain cancers.
None of these chemicals effect hair cells and this is why I have not lost my hair. However, I have more facial hair than I used to...lots of peach fuzz on my jawline...lol
My skin is clear, I have only had mouth sores once, my eyebrows are out of control, and my hair is growing good. Even my fingernails seem to be growing well, and are strong. Some people lose their nails....yuck.
I am not going to give more statistics...I don't think I want to go over it myself again yet let alone bring you down with the numbers. Good news is I am getting all these great drugs together and my body is handling it pretty well considering all the poison, and they attack good cells as well as cancer cells. So it is important I take good care of myself and keep regenerating healthy good cells.
The BEST thing here is FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, and everyones PRAYERS!!!!
And my daily life...speaking of which, here are a few pics of today. Damon has been cuter than ever, sounding like me when he talks. He is stuck on October 31....wearing Ironman costume everywhere! People look and whisper, smile and then glance at me. I don't care if they really do think its cute, or just that I am a strange parent for letting my son still wear his costume! Pretty soon he won't fit into it, and then what will he imagine in his spare time? Let him have his fun! He isn't hurting anyone. I kinda like having Ironman at my disposal.
Our new family member, Atreau. Sounds like A-tray-U. From the Neverending Story. He is tiny, I hope we can keep him alive.