April 28, 2011

Scan results and treatment update

Last week's ultrasound results were neither positive nor negative. I continue to have stable disease in my liver, meaning the Gemzar didn't really work all that well for me.

Dr G has decided to put me back on Abraxane. This is where I started chemo exactly a year ago. He did not order scans before I started the Abraxane. After nine or so treatments, I had a CT scan which found the liver mets. We don't really know when they appeared.

He switched me immediately to Doxil, which I did not tolerate. In the past year I have also taken Adriamycin, high dose Faslodex, Navelbine and Gemzar, all resulting in stable disease but no reduction in liver mets and continually increasing CA 27.29.

So, since I tolerated Abraxane well last year, I will start on it again next Monday. At least I know what to expect -- low blood counts, hair loss, nausea, fatigue and maybe peripheral neuropathy (although I don't remember this from last year).

Last year I had all my hair buzzed off just as it started to fall out, but I still had stubble all during the spring, summer and fall chemos. I was never baby-butt-bald. So I think I will try to live with hair loss this time instead of buzzing it all off again, and see if it does really all fall out, or if it only thins.

It does mean I will likely be hairless when we go out of town for a family celebration in June. I still have the wig I bought last year and many, many scarves. If I am bald, everyone can just deal with it. 

Dr G knows about our planned trip and hopes to see some results before we leave. I think that means I can look forward to another scan mid-June. As he told me today, "You're in good shape. We just have to find the right thing for you." We had a moment of emotional connection together and decided we are exactly the right doctor-patient team together.

(If you search through my blog for posts on Abraxane from 2010, you'll read that at the time I was dealing with a severely dislocated elbow, lymphedema, fear at starting chemo for the first time in eight years, and incipient depression. After having been on chemo for most of the last year, I can safely say that my fear is reduced, I know what to expect from Abraxane this time, my elbow has healed and I am no longer clinically depressed. But I think I will stay on the low dose of sertraline for the time being, just in case.)

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post- I totally agree with the hair decision. I often think to myself if I ever do chemo again I will NOT shave my head.
    You look great in my profile picture. You are so strong and I'm so happy your stuff is just lazily laying around as you live your life and have fun. Thanks for sharing- Danielle

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I dance with cancer. Oy!