Recovery seems to come naturally for me. Today is about six days after surgery and I feel okay as far as surgical pains are concerned. I still have the same abdominal bloating, numbness below my sternum and sciatica-like pains. Additionally bowel and bladder control has now almost all been lost and I've been spending a lot time between bed and bath; however, my surgery seemed to go well.
I still have this cancer eating through my body but hopefully the surgery has prevented impending paralysis that was slowly creeping up my back. The incontinence issue has been annoying to say the least, requiring me to self catheterize myself every 8 hours to relieve my bladder and playing this weird guessing game regarding my bowels. I'm not really sure what to think or feel anymore, and it's not like I have much feeling anyway.
Over the past couple of days we have had nice meetings with the entire, multifaceted oncology team and everyone has come to the consensus of prolonging the quality of my life instead of introducing more harm to finding a cure. The prognosis of my disease has been described in weeks to months, which doesn't really mean anything other than I don't have the luxury of years and decades.
The idea of not fighting and completely suspending treatments doesn't really jive with my goals and we have decided to switch to one last oral chemotherapy regimen. This particular drug is called Pazopanib. Unlike traditional chemotherapies, this drug does not kill cells unbiased but targets tumor pathways to control the disease. It's a Hail-Mary approach with little stats to rationalize; however the side effects are minimal and the treatment allows me to be "unteathered" to the hospital. It was described to us as an "aspirin" that'll either work and make me feel great or not work and we'll discontinue.
As a result my family is planning a fun trip to be together and enjoy these remaining days. The tentative plan is an RV trip up the coast of California from San Diego to San Francisco and then flying to Dallas and spending some time there.