Had another MRI last week and got the results back: no change. Still stable. I find myself thinking about how nice it would be to get a little improvement but I can't really complain about a lack of progression. I've actually felt pretty good lately. My mind's felt clear and sharp, and I wonder if my brain's started rebuilding some of those old connections that were so unceremoniously severed or cooked months ago. If we have any linguistics experts in the audience it might be fun to chart my vocabulary over the course of my blog (linguistics experts tend to have an unusual definition of "fun").
I've been chatting with my friend Will again, the one in Canada, and he only has a few more rounds of Temodar left before his doctors cut him loose. He'll still get regular MRIs and whatnot, but that will be the end of his treatment. It's caused me to wonder what that's going to feel like. My NO told me that I'm going to be on 5/28 cycles of Temodar for one year, by which he means two years. Maybe it's the kid in me but "two years" still feels kind of like, "forever." Like I will always take Temodar for five days out of every 28, for all perpetuity (having fun yet, linguists?). There will come a day when I will probably stop taking Temodar. I imagine that will be quite frightening. The chemotherapy is the only thing I'm really doing to fight my cancer. If I stop taking it, will that mean I'm no longer really fighting it? What if it starts to grow again, once the chemo is completely out of my system?
I know these thoughts aren't restricted to some point months and years in the future; it's entirely possible that my cancer could start growing again right now, regardless of my treatment. It's also likely that after two years, the risks of continuing chemotherapy would outweigh the benefits. The people who make it seem to think so, and that's a company that would absolutely love to keep selling me pills for as long as possible. It gets back to bravery versus endurance. Right now, I'm enduring my treatment. What happens when there's no longer a treatment to endure? I guess all I can really do is hope there's something new for me to try by then, perhaps that TTF thing I linked earlier in the month.
I've been playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning lately. It's a pretty neat game, but one of the core elements of the setting is that everyone has an established fate, and there's an order of individuals who can read that fate and tell people how they are going to die. They develop the idea pretty well, to a point where there are a lot of familiar thoughts and words. Like a father, debating with himself over whether or not to tell his family that he will soon die, and whether it is selfish of him to not want to see them suffer with that knowledge. The story of the game revolves around the fateless protagonist, who, by virtue of their blank destiny, can alter the fates of others and save lives that were not meant to be saved. Maybe once I'm done with chemo I'll keep an eye out for people with pointy ears and giant swords.
Then there's God Bless America, another movie about cancer, specifically brain cancer, specifically how it's completely, totally 100% lethal. It's used as a typical, "nothing to lose" character trait that drives the plot, wherein a brain cancer patient goes on a rampage against vapid American pop culture and also he picks up a teenaged girl somewhere along the line for some platonic and non-creepy reason. A plot like that doesn't really hold up to close examination (why kill someone when you can just, you know, move away from them?) so I imagine it's more about catharsis than anything.
I still haven't seen 50/50, but have been assured that it makes having cancer seem like a totally awesome life filled with casual sex and frequent naps. Guess I'm half way there.