Hi Cherie. My story may have different details, but the basics seem really similar for all of us stage IVers, I think. The reality of what it means to be dying from cancer, albeit slowly (which I am grateful for), is continually sinking in more and more. Tom's recent post spoke to that so well; he is in the middle stage, it seems to me. I remember so much of what he is feeling. I have crawled past the "Who am I now?" question, now that I am no longer the worker, the planner, the mountain trekker, the walker, the dog agility player, on and on I/we could go. So "who I am" becomes simply a person who gets to walk between worlds for an extended period of time. (Or not actually walk much, as the case may be. Ha!)
The chemo is doing it's job, I am stable with continued shrinkage and dropping CEA. There is a small chance the MDA liver docs will be willing to do something aggressive now, a couple of liver resections or SIRspheres, I guess (not curative, so I'll get the goods on that if it is offered to me). I'll know more soon. In the meantime, I have to be happy that my biweekly poisoning and its three days of despair are keeping me at a place where I get a week of feeling okay. That's a trade-off I can still make.
Pain. If any of you are dealing with this, take heart and be very proactive! I asked to see a pain mgmt doc 3 months ago. It was so wonderful to talk to someone whose focus was on the very thing that oncologists seem to just accept without paying much attention to. He found an opiod that doesn't make me sick and too dopey. I won't take it during the day unless I'm really needing it b/c it does make me feel weird, but at night it's a pretty wonderful floating weirdness. I'm sleeping better than I have in years, albeit with some very strange dreams. I jokingly call going to bed retreating to my own private opium den. At least I do with people who know me well enough to recognize the humor and irony in me saying something like that.
Hope that wasn't too much. Thanks for asking, Cherie. I've been following your story, of course.