October 24, 2008 by 8junebugs
I’ve talked with the oncologist. I’ve talked with the internets. We all agree:
The scans show that Mom’s liver is enlarged enough to push its neighbors around and cause the discomfort she’s been feeling for six weeks.
(Six weeks. Did I mention that? Dear MDs: Please listen to your patients.)
(Dear Mom’s Oncologist: My conditional apologies. That “I’m not leaving until you figure this out” comment that came out of her mouth was totally my fault. But I am only conditionally sorry, because she has rights.)
Usually, cancer on the liver shows up as spots. You can judge the progress of the cancer by measuring the size, shape, and color of the spots. (Much like moles, externally. Or…mold. Ew.)
In this case, the spots were growing, but slowly. Not enough for ChemoDoc to think the cancer was advancing as fast as it was. But if they were to cut out a chunk of her liver and look at it under a microscope, they would see that it is, and I quote, “full of cancer.” In her case, it’s manifesting in the tissues and other non-scan-able bits.
ChemoDoc is uncertain why her liver, in particular, is so susceptible to her cancer — as opposed to her lungs, which is where it started and where it appears to be holding steady. I’ve got a theory, but it’s all water (or something a little stronger) under the bridge.
She also used to say KidBrother and I were lucky — we never had to eat liver for dinner because she hates liver. Perhaps her own took it personally.
They’ve changed her chemo cocktail and we’ll know in a couple of weeks whether it’s effective or whether her liver continues to call the shots. Internal organs are pretty feisty when they’re all hopped up on cancer.