Wow oh wow oh wow oh wow.
After all your wonderful well-wishes on Friday's post, I wish you could have been there on the telephone with me and my new oncologist Friday. As we were getting through the preliminary niceties, he interrupted us saying, “Let me get to the point first.”
The thing about that is you wait and wait and wait, rocketing back and forth between fear and confidence, and suddenly the answer is right there, right now.
Sharp intake of my breath on my part and then he says – this is close to verbatim:
“The CT scan shows the size of the lesions in your lung have decreased by half and some are no longer detected at all. The one lesion in your peritoneum is not visible.”
This does not mean the cancer is curing itself. It means the chemotherapy is doing what it is supposed to do – slow the growth of the cancer to give me longer healthy time to live.
The doctor is so encouraged that if the news is as positive when the next scan takes place in two months, he will extend the scan interval to three months.
For now, however, Wow oh wow oh wow oh wow.
Chemo continues every two weeks until it doesn't work anymore. No one knows how long that is – it's different for every patient. But I'm encouraged now that I will still be here for my 78th birthday in April. For a long time I didn't believe that.
A couple of comments last week are of some concern to me. In one of them, the writer says that since I was fearfully anticipating the test results, my psilocybin session that freed me from my paralyzing fear of dying, must have failed.
Perhaps the writer doesn't understand that humans can't live with two and more emotional conditions, even strong ones, at once. I thought everyone knew this.
I can be, and was simultaneously, scared of test results and not afraid to die.
He also suggested that to maintain the results, I would probably have to have regular psilocybin trips. I don't suppose it would hurt and I have supplies for micro-doses but it certainly hasn't failed for me although I don't know about other people.
Speaking of psilocybin and other psychedelics used as therapy for depression, anxiety and PTSD among other conditions, I was surprised and pleased to see that in at least one survey, a majority of Americans support the use of these drugs for treatment.
As reported at YouGov that conducted the survey in 2018,
”Despite the stigma surrounding these controlled substances, new data from YouGov shows that many Americans are ready to embrace psychedelic therapies.
“What’s more, a relationship appears to exist between higher levels of education and increased support for psychedelic research and treatments. At each increasing level of education, there's a corresponding increase in support for medical research into the potential benefits of psychedelic substances, such as psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA, and ketamine.
“53% of all respondents support medical research into psychedelic drugs, and this number increases to 69% for respondents with graduate degrees.”
Here is the YouGov chart on support for psychedelic therapies among education levels:
Both the state of Oregon and the city of Denver already have ballot measures approving such use of these drugs ready for a vote in the 2020 election.
You can read more at YouGov.
Again and from my heart, thank you for your many words of love and support through not just this latest test scare, but for the entire 20 months so far since my original diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. I love you all.