As you all know, we’ve been wrapped up in the cancer world forever it seems. These years have been spent with little victories, a whole lot of sleepless nights, and bare knuckle rounds with cancer. We did not escape unscathed. No one does. We are not one of those families that you see in commercials, all smiles. And while we celebrated a major win in being in remission from two cancers – a miracle in its own right – cancer does not let lose it’s strangle hold so easily.
The Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) is a metric that measures one’s lung function. Maya’s lung function has decreased significantly over the past few months. Her lung function is roughly the third of what it should be. It was thought that it could be pulmonary fibrosis or Bronchiolitis Obliteran. Pulmonary Fibrosis occurs due to some chemo, effectively turning the lungs into massive scar tissue. The scarring is not reversible and there is no treatment for Pulmonary Fibrosis. Bronchiolitis Obliteran is similar to PF in that it is also a non reversible disease once fibrosis sets in. It is associated with GvHD. The initial response to therapy has a significant impact on the over all survival rate. Like all the other odds which we’ve been dealing with, the survival rate for either PF, or BO are dismal.
When Maya’s lung function was determined to have deteriorated, the recommendation was to perform a lung biopsy. Although we have had many biopsies, we declined this time around. Performing the biopsy would not have been instructive on what we could do. Additionally, it would have meant additional pain and suffering for Maya. Pulmonary Fibrosis has no known therapy or drug, so if Maya developed PF, there is nothing we can do. If it was Bronchiolitis Obliterans, we can treat with high dose pulse steroids. If we are dealing with Bronchiolitis Obliterans, how she responds initially, like most therapies we’ve had, will shed some light on the prognosis.
In the mean time, we are again hyper-vigilant. We have noticed that Maya’s loss of appetite, one of the symptoms of PF. We have noticed a lot of little dry coughs. Each little cough is a dagger jabbing into our hearts. How will we get through this complication? The wild horses are running wild again. Is this how the story ends?
We have today and we enjoy this day with the greatest gift in our lives. We are thankful for this day…