February 1, 2006
My CT Scan
Well, today was the big day. As important as it was, it was still hard to get 5 minutes of time from the doctor. Guess that's typical. He read the results of the CT Scan to me and my response was, "OK, what did it say?" Evidently there is still a little something showing on the scan, but they feel it might just be scar tissue. The bottom line is I will complete treatment #12 next week and then we're going to take a 3 month break with hopes of building strength and weight. Then we'll do another cat scan to see if anything is showing up. Of course we hope not and there can be no promises. A little hard to believe that we're going to be finished. Time has really passed by quickly. I guess that's the old age. I did get the doctor to confirm that my hair not growing is a common response to the chemo and it will start growing again. He had no answer to my two complaints, cold hands and still a sore throat. So, all in all I should be happy. I am relieved a bit, but still have the future to look at since this is not a "curable" type of cancer. Thanks for thinking of me.
February 8, 2006
Treatment #12 Bad News
I have learned to take nothing for granted anymore, except maybe for the sun to come up. So it has been the past two days. To say the least, very disappointing, but yet somewhat expected. Stay with me and I'll recap events of the past two days. Tuesday did start as predicted, cold as a well diggers you know what. Our 4th warmest January in history has everyone spoiled. But, I digress. My treatment got off to a bad start as we had trouble accessing the port, trying every position but standing on my head. Could input, but not get blood out so needle in the arm for 7 viles of blood. Took a nice nap and we're down to the last drug and ready to hook up my 46 hour pump when things went bad. First, I had asked to see my CT Scan written report since I looked at the scan at work on Sunday night.. Stacy, the NP, said she would run a copy off for me. I asked about it and they brought it to me. After looking at it, there were several "red flag" words in it that I asked about. Then one of the nurses broke the news that the doctor wanted me to continue with the two anti-body drugs after saying last week we would get a 3 month break. So now we have a complete reversal of what was said and no explanation for words like aortic aneurysm and the difference between lesions and nodules. It was suggested I see Dr. Stephens and an appointment was set for today. I had a speech prepared to tell him my feelings, but he promptly apologized for not being clear last week and proceeded to fully explain where we were and the choices we had. Choice one, to stop everything for 3 months and do a cat scan, hoping nothing would show up. Choice two, continue with the two anti-body drugs and do the cat scan in 3 months, his choice. With elimininating the chemo drugs, quality of life should improve, if not we could stop. If I get off the drugs, I would be dropping the experimental program. The lesions and nodules could and at some point probably will, turn back into cancer. The anti-bodies will delay this from happening, or at least that is the hope. It could delay for 6 months, a year, or maybe longer. The next chemo, when and if needed would be a different combination of drugs as the present ones have me on a plateau and will not do any more for me. I guess this is a reminder that metastatic colon cancer is there forever. I was prepared to have more than the 12 treatments, but this is not what I anticipated. Looking like a life sentence. The only positive is I would have to go have the port flushed once a month anyway, now a second trip. Oh yes, I don't have the damn pump to carry around anymore and my cold sensitivity should go away. I guess not all bad and foolish to not do the anti-bodies so that is my choice. Kind of easy to be a little depressed at this point. I really need to find a positive point to work on with no light at the end of the tunnel. Before I forget since I brought up a concern about an aneurysm, the conclusion said "stable infrarenal aortic aneurysm". The doctor said it was no problem since it was stable. I was wondering what I would do with this diary after today. It looks like it will be continuing indefintely. Rats. I hope I've summarized this in an understandable way while I'm still in a bit of shock and a little anger of what I'm not sure. I'm beginning to understand the saying of living one day at a time. Enough rambling again. Until next time the best of health to all of you.
February 22, 2006
Anti-Body Treatment #1
To quote an old Gene Autry song, "I'm back in the saddle again." Oops, sounds like I went to an Ob-Gyn clinic. Anyway, I started the new set of treatments yesterday. Can't say I was real happy about going back, but, you do what you gotta do. My only concern is the increase of the experimental drug to 75%, which we called P since no one can pronounce the name. Always wonder what kind of warped mind comes up with these drug names that look like spelling mistakes. At least I've gone from a 6 hour treatment to 3 hours, and I don't have that stupid 46 hour pump hooked up. Almost felt naked leaving the clinic. I was a little surprised that I had gained 3 pounds and have topped 160 now. A long way up from the 139 when I got sick. Appetite is good and taste buds coming back. Still some foods I have trouble with. Have to take the fizz off soft drinks and the worst of all things is Hershey chocolate. It hurts my throat to eat it. I told the doctor's head nurse who was there yesterday and she was surprised, never heard anyone have that problem before. She suggested eating Dove bars. She is also the one who said I should drink 3 bottles of Ensure a day. Right, $100 a month for that stuff. I don't think so. I was told I looked robust, whatever that means. Got another freebe, two blankets, a little larger than a throw, of course with some drug names on them, anti-body drugs. That's one thing that has been good from the start, my blood count, white and red, have always been good. Saved taking another drug. I'm feeling almost "normal" and am looking forward to a little more improvement, especially getting rid of my cold sensitivity. I hope I can report progress the next posting. Good health to all.