Update on the “C” Word

Tomorrow (Saturday), husband and I leave for Houston for my quarterly visit to M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital.  Sunday afternoon will be the CT scan, early Monday morning a bone scan, then two doctor appointments following that.

I’m more nervous than usual this time. This was the trial period for this particular chemo, which had been very effective when I had it before.  But because of severe side effects, I’ve missed two of the six treatments. I’m not sure what effect that has on determining if the drugs are working. And if they are, I most certainly would have to have a much-reduced dosage to continue on this regimen. My main reaction is severe mucositis, and there is no way I can go through what I had to experience the last round – a liquid diet for at least a week and even that with a lot of discomfort. And of course, reduced dosage means reduced effectiveness.

So, that leaves us with either the newest drug on the market for colon cancer – the name of which I don’t remember – or moving into clinical trials where I become a guinea pig for an as yet unapproved chemotherapy. Based on earlier discussions, I also suspect that there may not be total agreement between my local oncologist and the MDA onc on the best route to take.

I worry that this increased pain is from the cancer.  I’ve tried all kinds of other explanations – some of which, I think, may have some validity: a joint problem from 40 years ago, knotted muscles, flat feet, stress. But I haven’t wanted to admit that maybe some, most, or all of it is due to cancer. The scans should show if and how much the cancer has spread, if that’s an explanation for the pain.

And, to add insult to injury, this couple of days requires lots of walking (the M.D. Anderson facility is like a small city), which I’m not sure I’m up for, given the continuous pain I’ve had lately in my right hip and lower back. Wheelchair, then? The idea is very repugnant to me.

So that’s why I’m in such a grousy mood right now. That, and being REALLY tired from travel lag. I even hate to subject an RA picture to this much negativity, so I’ll leave this post unadorned.

Hopefully, tomorrow will seem brighter with some sleep. Hopefully, it will be good news from the scans, and I’ll come back on Monday evening and say, “Never mind. It’s not bad at all.” Hopefully….


21 thoughts on “Update on the “C” Word

    1. justmepurring Post author

      Thanks, April. Results were mixed, but I feel good that we have a “plan of action” for the next few months. Will get a post up soon about that. Hope all is well with you.

    1. justmepurring Post author

      Thanks, Katie. It means a lot to me to have everyone’s thoughts and positive wishes. It helped to watch part of The Hobbit (fell asleep during it – but only because of an exhausting day.) Nothing like a little Majestic Thorin to give a girl strength! 🙂

  1. Servetus

    I agree with everyone on the wheelchair thing, fwiw, and I’ll be praying that all goes well. Travel safely.

    I find that pictures of Richard Armitage can bear a lot of negativity. Whatever makes you smile 🙂

  2. Mama Wetherbee

    Fingers crossed for a week full of good news. Its refreshing to hear the honesty in your post about how you’re feeling. I don’t think I was ever brave enough to let anyone in on the reality of my feelings while my daughter was ill. We’ll be thinking of you!

    1. justmepurring Post author

      Thanks for your good wishes, Amanda. After reading your “guest blog” of your family’s experience with your daughter, I really admire your way of working through such a heart-breaking situation. So glad to hear she’s doing well. If there is a silver lining, it is that your family has learned what’s really important and how to live life to the fullest, a lesson that many of us don’t learn until much later in life, if at all. As for the honesty – well, one of the reasons for starting this blog is to give me an outlet for expressing emotions that I have trouble laying out there, especially around my children. Hopefully, this will grease the wheels so that opening up to family – a necessary step on this journey – will come easier. Again, thanks for your kind thoughts!

  3. Joanna

    Maybe the weakest parts in your body responds to your concerns in a form of pain.
    (((Take care))) :*

    1. justmepurring Post author

      Good point, Joanna. I feel like a lot of the pain is worsened, if not totally caused, by the anxiety of all this. And that pain is going to be concentrated where the body is already weak. I am trying to use a self-hypnosis technique that in the past has helped me avoid anxiety medication. Anything that will take some of the load off… It REALLY helps having all of you out there!

  4. Christine (msgigglepants)

    I’ll have you in my thoughts and prayers this weekend and next week… I hope the results are good. I agree with marieastra – you might want to consider using the wheelchair – save your strength for the things you really need it for. The wheelchair is probably not the most important battle you’ll face this weekend. :} Although it might be important to you, I understand, in which case, please ignore this (unsolicited) advice. lolol You are loved, and we’re all pulling for you. Be good to yourself. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    1. justmepurring Post author

      Thanks, Christine, for your thoughts and prayers. As you’ll learn in a post soon, didn’t need the wheelchair. But all of you were right – in the overall scheme of things, it wasn’t really such a big deal.

      That key lime creation was just something else! Over the top, I’d say?

    1. justmepurring Post author

      Thanks for the prayers and hugs. Actually didn’t need the wheelchair, but will report on that in a post soon. Means a lot to me to have all of you out there!

  5. bollyknickers

    I will be thinking of you and praying the results are good. No one would blame you for feeling grouchy – you have had to bear the unbearable. Hoping for happier times for you in the very near future. Take care.


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