Dear Intrusive Invader,
For 18 months you taunted me with pain, diarrhea, and anemia, but my doctor said it was diet, stress, IBS, and depression. I did my best to cure those issues but, still, you demanded my attention!
Stabbing pain left me gasping for air, so with tears in my eyes I headed to the emergency room. It was there I got my first CT scan and learned you were a very imposing 19 centimeter mass!
“You are probably going to die,” my doctor said.
But, 1000 miles away, an oncologist agreed to see me. So, with a glimmer of hope, off I went!
That’s where I learned your name: GIST. And that oncologist became a lifeline. He spoke with a specialist and, within a week, I had an appointment.
I learned that you’re incurable and, because of your size and location, inoperable too. But then, like a rainbow after a storm, I found a drug that might extend my life, and started treatment that same day.
Like the Wicked Witch, you began to shrink!
A few months later, a surgeon saw my scans and asked if I wanted you gone. “Hell yes!”
After surgery, you were barely there! You tenaciously held on in a few places, but my treatment kept you under control.
I worry about resistance, but I am doing well and living my life. And the last bits of you remain sleeping. I can’t even hear you snore! And that’s just fine by me.