I am wondering about my body’s ability to continue this fight. While I have tired of the never-ending appointments for some time, I am willing to try new treatments in hopes of finding another silver bullet soon. And, I am concerned about my body’s strength, energy and stamina (SE&S) to absorb the side effects of further treatments and to rebound as it has in the past. I feel as though my old “get up and go” has “done got up and went.”
You may recall from the last post that the chief had wanted me to move on from Taxotere chemotherapy to Jevtana, another chemo drug in the same family. My NorVA oncologist had some reservations even last November about my SE&S to handle Jevtana. Instead, he suggested we try two more rounds of Taxotere before we considered Jevtana. These we completed in December and January.
The two rounds of chemo seemed to be working, and I felt I had weathered the side effects satisfactorily. So, we went to California in early February, fully expecting to enjoy the rest of the winter in reasonable health. Alas, it was not to be………….
You can see from the chart (click on the thumbnail below) that the two rounds (six infusions) of Taxotere had limited impact. (Four years ago that same regimen produced a big PSA drop.) Moreover, I don’t feel, even now, that I have gotten over the funk I usually feel after a couple of rounds of chemo; to complicate things this time, edema came back, too. We chose to cut our trip short after the diuretic regime I used four years ago to counter the edema took a sharp and sudden toll on my sodium level. Further, I fell one evening and severely bruised my left tailbone. As of mid-May, my sodium level has been restored, but the bruise has not yet healed.
Returning to the chart, you can see that my PSA is again increasing. The good news is that the rate of increase is now fairly slow. The bad news is that experience teaches it is likely to accelerate unless we do something. When we see the chief at the end of this month, we will surely discuss starting Jevtana chemo to see what it can do and whether I can handle it.
Also from the last post, the CT scan last Thanksgiving showed so much shrinkage of the malignant retroperitoneal nodules near my spine that it would be too risky to biopsy them again. Without samples of tumor cells that can be put to molecular profiling, I cannot now qualify for access to some new drugs, e.g., Lynparza. One option is go hunting for the tumor cells generating the PSA you see on the chart. That is likely to mean more diagnostics, e.g., CT scans.
I feel so weak in general that “getting up” to do even a CT scan has become a chore. The scans are short enough, but drinking the required two bottles of glop pre-scan now causes me roaring diarrhea within a few minutes of getting off the scanning bed. Then, it upsets my digestive system for two days afterwards. It used to be so much easier.
What might be coming down the pike next?
In the past the chief has often had a rabbit hiding under his lab coat that he pulls out just in time to save our day. We very much hope he has one for us in two weeks.