My “below-the-neck” scans showed a new lesion in my shoulder. That is the first time I’ve had progression below the neck in over a year. It is just starting to form and it is the only sign of active cancer below my neck. So it is not good news but certainly not awful news. It caught me by surprise so it has taken a few days to digest the news.

Next week I have a brain MRI to check for new tumors. My anxiety level is really high going into this test. But I know my attitude now has nothing to do with what that scan will show. There is either progression or not. But my attitude will help me handle the news. The results of the brain MRI will help determine the treatment for the new bone lesion.

I’m still on my first line of treatment. Since there are only so many known treatments for MBC, it is vital for me to remain on one line of treatment as long as possible. I will live with MBC until I run out of lines of treatments.

If you follow my blog you know I have been planning on taking disability from work soon. I suppose this new progression is at least good timing with that. (Sometimes you have to s t r e t c h to find some positives.) Today was the most disappointing day so far with my current job, and that says a lot. I gave them several month’s notice instead of the typical 2 weeks, trying to be nice with the labor market the way it is. I offered to stay and overlap my successor to help with the transition. Today I found out that my successor, a much younger (read less experience) male is being given a salary higher than mine. This was a gut punch. I went back into work the same day after receiving my diagnosis, because there were things that had to be done. I have worked with a puke bucket next to me after chemo because the payroll/patronage/tax returns/financial statements had to be completed. I’ve sat in the chemo pods at Barnes with my laptop spread out so I could make sure my work was done. When I was in the hospital after my fall and the discovery that the cancer had spread to my brain, I made sure Dave brought my laptop so I could get work done.

This should be a lesson to you; learn from my mistakes. Work should never be a priority. Never. Because work doesn’t care if you have cancer. Work doesn’t care if you are dealing with a terminal illness. Hard work doesn’t get you a pass from illness or a better seat in the afterlife.

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