It was right about this time last year that my aunt Sherry began insisting that something was wrong with my uncle Pete. His father passed away in June 2012, so we tried to alleviate her concerns by suggesting that he was merely in a bit of a slump from the loss. Woman’s intuition reigned victorious—early August marks the one-year anniversary of Pete’s terminal diagnosis.
Overall, he’s been handling chemotherapy fairly well, not suffering the plethora of ill effects that many report (or not admitting to it, if he is suffering). He’s still our silly, crazy, funny, kind Pete; mental function is not inhibited as it was when the brain cancer raged prior to radiation treatment last fall. Regardless of his skill at hiding it, though, Pete’s physical discomfort and outright pain has been on a steady rise over the last couple of months.
Monday brought another scan, and the oncologist asked to meet with Pete and Sherry to share the results. That discussion happened this morning, and the conclusion is rather disheartening.
The cancer lesions have grown, and chemotherapy has done little or nothing to slow the spread. There is apparently a different type of chemo that could be administered, but the oncologist suggested it has only about a 5% chance of making any difference. We’re unsure right now what Pete and Sherry will decide to do. Even without any further treatment, life expectancy is 3-6 months.
Given his rampant cancer, Pete has overcome a lot of “expiration date” forecasts already. There’s a chance he’ll exceed this one, too. In the meantime, we’ll just keep savoring the time we have.