I had an appointment on Friday with the specialist, Dr. Gena Piliotis, at the Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Piliotis’ specialty is in the type of cancer that I have. The appointment was quite soon after the request, and this was great. My cousin, Susan Glover-Takahashi, who knew Dr. Piliotis also sat in on the appointment. I did not get great news.

The type of cancer I have is not acting according to the norm. It is a rare form, but normally would respond to chemo. This has not been the case so far. She is recommending that I have two to four treatments of a more toxic form of chemo. If my lesions respond to this chemo, then we would proceed with a bone marrow transplant – taking my own bone marrow, giving me a strong dosage of chemo, and then giving me back the bone marrow. (I think this is how it works.)

Dr. Piliotis did not state with a lot of confidence that the cancer will respond to the chemo. If it does not, then there is no use doing the bone marrow transplant. With the bone marrow transplant, there is a 70% chance that the cancer will return within a year or two. Today, Dr. Piliotis will talk to my doctor in Kitchener, Dr. McCarron, and then we will decide on the way to proceed.

The two lesions which I have are growing in size – actually, more accurately, there are more smaller lesions growing around the two large ulcers. I am also having problems with my left sinus, giving me sinus pain and constant issues with running nose, etc. I will undergo tests regarding the sinus, hopefully soon. I am in more pain, and most days I take pain medication.

So, most of this is not the news I wanted to hear. Yet, I was not surprised by it. The journey has many twists and turns. I am not without hope, but I am also realistic about the possibilities. I know I now need the prayers more than ever !

I had a nice relaxing weekend. I had a couple of occasions to visit with friends. This morning we have a new coating of snow over everything. The beauty of the snow in this winter season reminds me that life continues on. This coming weekend I look forward to the visit of my mother and sister from PEI.

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