Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Doctor visit

I have grown quite fond of my Oncologist.  My first one completely missed the mark on me.  He did not diagnose my cancer, he gave me poor treatment and worst of all dismissed me as not being worthy of his time when he could serve those who were going to live.  I will leave all comments on him off, but I am sure I have left a few on previous posts over the years.  My second Oncologist was a gift, plain and simple.  He stepped right up, diagnosed the little c and then set about learning everything he could about it and my other health issues.  He literally brought me back from the dead and gave me a life again.  My third and current Oncologist and I took a little time to get used to each other.  It is understandable after having such an amazing doctor who was also charming and handsome and so intelligent he produced a glow about his head like a halo just with all the energy in that brain.  She took over most of his patients and had to deal with all of us constantly questioning her and going around her.  But I have to give her credit for winning me over.  I am very comfortable with her and she says things like, "I wish I could make all of the cancer go away, but since I can't lets just do what we can to give you the longest healthy life we can."  I very much appreciate that she lays it on the table.  She tells me what is going on and what are my options.  She then tells me her first choice, but leaves it open to me decide.

Numbers wise, my blood counts are all good, my liver is almost that good.  These are great, because it gives me options.  So, strong and healthy body, all things concerned.  The biopsy was no surprise,  lung cancer.  Dr. M said that  after the biopsy the lymph glands all seemed to get a little smaller.  I am not sure how she knows that, but sounds good.

The Pet scan showed a change.  On my back bone, not in my back bone and not in my spinal cord there appears to be some growth.  It looks like it is on 5-6 vertebrates.  We will deal with this bone treatments.  The kind they give people with osteoporosis.  My friend Jan took this and it did not work out so well.  However, I think this is the same drug they gave me back in the beginning of treatments when I had radiation and I tolerated it just fine.  Hopefully by strengthening the bone we will slow the growth down.  We can always do scans and radiation later if needed.  But at this point, it seems like over kill.  I will start the bone treatments next week.  It is a once a month treatment and is taken through infusion.  Good thing I have a port.  And as Dr. M said, she has never seen an easier port to use because it really stands out. 

She had asked me if I had felt any bone pain in my back and I had said, "No".  That is why we are taking the simplest route.  Unfortunately once I got home I remembered the severe pain I had last week.  I had thought of it as around my shoulder blade.  As I think about it now, I better mention this pain to her.  It put me to bed two days, but at the time I was not thinking back, and it might not be.  But still.

Another change in the scan was my lungs.  The Tarceva does not appear to be working any longer.  Really, all in all, it has been a good run, and it was a great drug.  But it has side affects, so if it is not working, then why keep taking it?  She discussed how she had gone back through all the records and had taken time to look through the amazing Dr. McCutie.  There was one chemical left on his original list of possibilities.  I have three choices.  Simply stop the Tarceva and accept what will happen.  Or We can add Avistan to the Tarceva and see if that might work.  The final choice is the last chemical on the list.  Her preference is number three, but after giving me information on both chemicals she sent me home to choose what I want to do.  At this moment, I am planning on number three also.  I am bone weary right now and just stopping everything would be easy.  To simply lay down and rest, but there is so much to do getting the house ready to move in.  We will move over there next week.  If we have to move the 5th wheel over an live in it, fine, but we are ready to be there. 

So, changes, not necessarily good, but honestly I felt a little relieved.  I need to start smiling again, laughing.  I need to feel happiness.  There is no need to be unhappy while this continues.  I want to smile at my husband and feel joy again.  I want to sit in our new house and have friends over and enjoy time with them.  I can do this.  I can spend the next six months enjoying this wonderful and amazing life I have.  My cousin Lori is moving to Florida.  She is a RN with the VA and has gotten a great job in St. Pete.  She will be near the brothers and only 4+ hours to here.  I am so glad that she will be here.

I have to admit, there is a bit of relief finding out what is going on.  I have not been feeling better and my stamina is slipping, so this explains it.  How much longer?  I have no idea.  It isn't about time, but life.  So on to another phase.  The symptoms are pretty typical, stomach issues in both directions, nose bleeding, exhaustion, flu like symptoms and hair loss.  I might not have all of them. 
Then again, I might. 
Oh well. 
Let the games begin! 

1 comment:

  1. YOu have the gift of joy, what a gift too... even in your dark times, you put a positive spin on things.. I'm sure that is what is helping you so much and just keep going and giving us all the pleasure of hearing your words as you manage your days.. with such love in that house, it will be amazingly easy to forget all your troubles. you have been most stoic in coping with all that has been happening, and its just great that your doctor is so interested in helping you achieve the very best out of your days.. [none of us have any idea when our own time is going to be up.. so we must all try to live each day in the most positive way imaginable and hope our happy faces and positive outlook keeps us going,just as you are doing..]
    I am sending you loads and loads of hugs to my 'friend of the ether'.. and hope that tomorrow will be light and sunny and the meds work really well for Janzi