I have scans again one week from today. Two days later I am to review them and to have another infusion. I already know that my new oncologist will not be able to meet with me that day—I believe she shall be in the ICU. Younger doctors are being asked to fill all sorts of roles now—previously she was on the COVID19 unit. I am sure they are receiving a phenomenal education but the stress must be extraordinary. And of course, it is hard for their cancer patients as well.
Given the gravity of my decision (yes) I decided that it was best to get in touch with Alice. Yesterday I sent her this message:
“Good morning. Scans a week from Tuesday and I won’t actually be seeing Jess so thought I’d discuss with you. I have been pretty flipping miserable for weeks now—physically and emotionally. Last night my mouth/throat/tongue were the worst yet. Unless those scans show some very compelling reason as to why to stay on this I am done. Done to the point that even if there is not a good next choice done. If I have six months to live I’d rather not be miserable. If there is a good chance the MEK inhibitor will have similar side effects than it is not the drug for me. Honestly I have been so depressed that at times I have been ready to call it quits all together. However, given the possibility of improvement while retaining quality of life, I could rally. So let’s discuss what that might or might not look like.‘
She responded immediately and then called me later. This next scan shall be telling but my mind is made up per suffering—if it is for naught, I am not on board.
Today was better—the discomfort remains great but knowing that I have drawn a line in the sand I feel safer somehow. Just as it is powerful to know one’s strengths it is also imperative to appreciate one’s limits.
I love life. So very much. But pain is incredibly demoralizing and I have made the choice that for me, not how I wish to spend the rest of my time here.
Fingers crossed that there is an easier option.