It seems whenever I come back from vacation, I am due for my scans. The beginning of this year was no different. After enjoying a spactacular New Year’s Eve cruise with my family and siblings, it was time for CT and bone scans upon my return.
I was not too concerned about getting the scan results. I had been receiving the same treatment for a year, and even though my tumor markers were rising, my previous scans looked good. More importantly, I had been feeling well. Imagine my disappointment when I was told that the scans showed progression concerning my liver.
I was told the existing lesions on my liver were growing in size, and more lesions had developed. It was time to receive a new treatment. Thankfully, a spot opened up in a phase 1 clinical trial, and I was able to participate in it. The treatment in this trial consisted of two oral chemotherapies.
I took these drugs for two months and then was scanned. We were again disappointed by the news we received. Progression continued. On to another treatment.
This next treatment I began to take was also an oral chemotherapy. After being on this drug for two months, and being scanned again, we received the same results. I was becoming scared at this point.
My oncologist assured me there were many treatment options still available. We decided that I would go back on Cisplatin, an intravenous chemotherapy. This is the chemo I first received when I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. It worked then, and the hope was it would work again.
I dreaded having to go back on Cisplatin due to the horrific side effects. Although the oral chemotherapies had their own terrible side effects, they paled in comparison to the side effects of Cisplatin, but I had hope this drug was going to work again.
It was spring at this point in treatment. My family and I had booked a trip to London and Paris to be taken during the summer. Unfortunately, we needed to cancel this vacation. I was not feeling well. I was weak and was having a hard time getting around. Mark thought it was due to the chemo, but I had another thought and, it was not a good one.
We decided we would take a more relaxed vacation and booked a carribean cruise, along with and a visit to Key West. It was a great time! Of course when we returned, it was time for scans.
My thought on why I was feeling the way I was proved to be true. I was weak due to the cancer spreading. This time to my lungs. DAMN!!!!! I would need to try another treatment.
I would begin Taxol, the chemotherapy I am currently taking. This would be my fourth different treatment in seven months.
Since being on Taxol, I feel great! My red counts have been good, which means I have not needed a blood transfusion in a while. My white counts remain good due to taking human growth factor, Neupogen injections. My tumor markers are going down, slowly, but thankfully in the right directions. I am experiencing many unpleasant side effects from the Taxol, but we are working on getting them under control. Most importantly, my last scans, in October, looked good. Lungs, liver and bones!
Although 2015 did not start off on a positive note for me, health wise, I am thankful that the second half of the year brought happy news. As always, I appreciate, and am grateful for the support, encouragement and love from family and friends. It helps get through the scary and not so pleasant times. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against diffficulties.” ~ Helen Keller
I wish you all Happy Holidays. May the new year, 2016, bring you good health, happiness, love and laughter. Susan, Mark, Michaela, Max and Wally