After a pleural effusion, a cytology test is performed. The results of my first two were reassuring. No cancerous cells found. However, there was a note of caution: the left pleural fluid cellblock contained ‘rare groups of highly atypical epithelial cells, consistent with metastatic adenocarcinoma.’
My third cytology exam, following last week’s procedure, was unequivocal: malignant.
Acccording to Medscape, ‘Development of a malignant pleural effusion is associated with a very poor prognosis, with median survival of 4 months and mean survival of less than 1 year.‘
Any treatment is considered palliative.
Grim and grimmer. However, my first response was take that twelve months and double it. Unrealistic? Sure, hell, why not. However, little about my last sixteen years has been realistic. Surreal is certainly a better adjective.
On Thursday I will see both Jess Lin and Alice Shaw and we shall discuss a pleurodesis.
And, a week later, I will hopefully be taking my lead in dose of TPX-0131. In my wildest dreams, I shall respond and begin to feel better.
In the meantime, I am still adjusting to, well, limitations. Because of fatigue, I had pushed last Sunday’s date night to this evening. However, after showering in preparation, I immediately felt nauseous and vomited. This is likely a side effect of the pleural effusion.
I called my (very understanding) date, who was already enroute, and told him I would need to cancel. Again. And that, in all honesty, I was fooling both of us in thinking that I was well enough to socialize. As an enthusiast, I sometimes operate under the assumption that I can just power through. However, my body is making it increasingly clear that it is time to rest.
So I shall. Pace myself. But, with not just the hope, rather the expectation, that I shall rise (and date!) again.