Marifran Korb

My Relationship With Cancer, Part 11

by on Aug.29, 2012, under Random Writings on Relationship

Today I had CT scans with and without contrast. Met with Dr. B who had good news and bad news.

The bad news is that the tumor grew.
The good news is that it was a normal growth for two years since the last CT kidney scan. Dr. B now says it is expected to grow 2 to 3 mm a year. The details of the exact difference in size were not in yet from the radiologist report. It will be coming soon.

Dr. B is still not recommending surgery because the tumor is considered small. It has a 1% chance of spreading. Due to the location of the tumor, surgery would mean loss of kidney, not partial loss. If I lose a kidney, my heart has 50% chance of being deleteriously affected.

The result was disappointing. It indicates that all that I am doing is not working as well as I had hoped. Back to the reinventing a new plan of action. First, I am going to do something fun.

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18 Comments for this entry

  • Michele Stegman

    Doing something fun might be the very best idea! Remember that comedian who was already in hospice and decided to beat his cancer with laughter? He got out of hospice and lived for a while afterward.

  • Steve Broermann

    I love the 1% chance of spreading. It is a far lower % than the 100% chance of losing a kidney and the 50% chance of messing up your heart. I get we would love to see it shrink and that is why a new plan is called for.
    Love Ya,

  • Rosemary Molloy

    Marifran, forgive my ignorance, but isn’t a one percent chance of spreading considered excellent odds? It seems so to me, but maybe is not. I understand that it’s disappointing, especially considering your intelligent and determined plan of action to combat the cancer. I’m not clear, though, if there was some hope of eliminationg it altogether through your efforts or, perhaps, having it shrink. Could it just stay as it is, and neither enlarge or get smaller? I hope these won’t seem silly questions–it’s just that I’m interested and know little about this particular type of cancer. Thank you, dear.

  • Dan Erdman

    I was thinking the same as Rosemary. I think we all have close to a 1% chance of dying from something terrible every year – buses, trains, airplanes, lying in bed, heart attacks from over exertion, food poisoning, hurricanes, tornadoes, and West Cincinnati Beer Chugging . I think you’re a very healthy 50 year old woman who, I hope is very happy! I love your new plan…Have fun!

  • Susan Jones

    My feet and my heart are firmly planted beside you.

  • Dan Erdman

    I can understand why you’d be disappointed with all of your efforts…

  • marifran

    Michele, I have heard a similar story. I am a BIG fan of laughter. Here’s a Laughter Yoga site: Thanks for your comment.

  • marifran

    Thanks, Steve. You get it.

  • marifran

    Hi Rosemary,
    One percent is terrific. I am happy about that. The disappointment is that I have been very disciplined on diet and supplements and no advantage came from that. Laughter and joy everyday helps heal, too. None of that stopped the progression of tumor growth. Of course my esteemed doctor, much as I love him, thinks that nothing will make any difference to the expected yearly growth. If it continues to grow as expected, I could still be fine indefinitely. Yet the larger it gets, the higher chance it could spread. Call me crazy (lots of people do), but now I will explore other possible ways to stop and reverse the expected progression.

  • marifran

    Thanks, Dan. And I am dusting myself off and realizing it was good news today. I just have more work to do.

  • marifran

    Thanks, Sweet Susan. Planted beside me, you make such good company!

  • Stephanie Ballard

    Marifran, thanks for sending this post. Of course, I share your disappointment. You’ve been working hard to shrink the tumor. But I’m reaching the conclusion we have limited control over these things. Yoga teachers and vegetarians get cancer, just as do meat eaters and tap-water drinkers.* Enjoying your life now–doing something fun–is a great idea!
    *Paraphrased from book “Speaking the Language of Healing”

  • marifran

    Dear Dan,
    Yes, I like the odds, too. Thanks for affirming my health and youth. I’m aiming for ageless. You know I’ll have fun. If not, what’s the point?

  • marifran

    Hello Stephanie,
    Thank you for your wise and thoughtful perspective. It’s very true about healthy people getting cancer. I know several.

    You may be right about not having control. That’s a good reminder. Yet, once a person has cancer, maybe their choices could contribute to results. I just want to put the odds in my favor, even if it doesn’t work that way. If I could make a difference with my health, I want to do it. I think I’d feel disappointed in me if I did nothing and then things went terribly wrong. I’d always wonder if I could have impacted the outcome. So, I promise to give up the illusion of control as I play with new ways to amuse myself. Thanks, Dear One.

  • Karen Wythe

    Hi Marifran,

    When my sister-in-law had her battle with stage IV Lung cancer. She under went Chemo and did quite well. eleven months after this harsh diagnosis I was at one of her last visits to the Doctor. The doctor said she had about a month to live. What surprised me was what the doctor said next. “We know one thing is for sure. She will die with cancer but not from it.” In fact that was true. She developed a blockage and became septic. The infection was too much for her to fight, so, in fact it was not from the cancer that she died.

    Attitude is everything. Close your ears to what others spell out for you. You are are on your own path. Do what your inner guidance tells you is right, step out of emotion, and live your best life. Celebrate the joy of each moment as you do so well. I am happy for your very good news. I look forward to many more years of sharing life with you.

  • Rosemary Molloy

    Nobody in his right mind would call you crazy for exploring “other possible ways to stop and reverse the expected progression.” Hey, in this contest, all my money’s on you,kid!

  • Rosemary Molloy

    Nobody in his right mind would call you crazy for exploring other ways to stop or reverse the disease, Marifran. In this contest, I’m betting on you all the way. Love to my cuz.

  • Stephanie Ballard

    I agree with those who say to take others’ advice with a grain of salt. Even that of fellow cancer initiates like myself but ESP those who have not walked the path. You already do “take what you need and leave the rest” and have the inner wisdom to know what is right for yourself.

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