This week I met with an oncologist, who after introducing herself and talking for a few minutes, asked me what my understanding of my illness is. I explained that the surgeon who had done the operation had been very negative about my prognosis, and given me very little time. He told Robert directly after the operation that had he known ahead of time what was in there, he'd have cancelled the surgery.
She was taken aback.
The cancer has not reached any of my major organs, but it is in my lymph system. The doctor explained that because of this, she considers that I am a good candidate for chemotherapy. If the cancer responds to the chemo, as it has a good chance of doing, I could live for several more years.
We were stunned; the surgeon had given us both the impression that I was on my last legs. This oncologist said that she has patients who have been living with cancer in their lymph system for years, with chemotherapy keeping it from metastasising any further, and she believes this may be a possibility for me.
This is the first hope we've had since the surgery on May 9th. We left her office feeling almost giddy and at the same time, a little choked up.
It's very strange to have been given the impression that it was pretty much all over, only to go see another doctor, and get a completely different prognosis. This had been a roller coaster ride, for certain.
I went to a meeting the next evening, for the first time in about six weeks - it was heavenly. So much love and humour and wisdom.
I go to get a PICC line installed in my arm next Tuesday, and start chemo on Thursday, so am working my program, and hoping that the oncologist's more positive outlook is the correct one of the two.
This is one of the most pointed examples I can recall for myself, of the way a different viewpoint, outlook or attitude, changes everything.