April 07, 2011

Next steps

I saw Dr G briefly today while getting my monthly shot of Xgeva, the bone strengthener that replaces Zometa. (The nurse wanted him to oversee her giving the shot, and indeed he caught her recapping the needle, evidently a no-no.)

Dr G wants me to have Gemzar next Monday (dose #5). He also wants me to have another MRI of my liver. My recent tumor markers indicated a slight increase from the previous lab, but tumor markers alone have not been conclusive for me in indicating disease progression. The MRI should indicate if the liver mets are larger or more numerous than the last time, and whether or not the Gemzar is effective. I have asked for no chemo on Monday April 18 because of Passover beginning that night (we will have a houseful of people) and I won't have chemo on April 25, since my appointment with Dr G is later that week. Then we will review the MRI results and make a plan.

Meanwhile I'm waiting for a call to schedule both Monday's chemo and the MRI. I guess I'll need a ride to and from that test, since going headfirst into the MRI tube exacerbates any claustrophobia I might have. I do wear an eye mask to prevent me from seeing just how close the top of the tube is to my face. Fresh air blows at all times, plus they give you a panic button to hold in case it gets too intense. Still, I think I will take some lorazepam just in case and let someone else do the driving, whenever the test will take place.


  1. Why did doctor which you over to Xgeva? What's wrong with Zometa? I am currently on that treatment now along with tamoxifen/lupron.

  2. I've been on Aredia and Zometa for more than 8 years. They both have implications for kidney issues and osteonecrosis of the jaw, neither if which I developed, but would still be at risk for. Xgeva has neither risk, and since I plan to be living with cancer for many years, it seemed the right idea to change.