August 31, 2011

Good news!

Monday's CT scan indicated that my liver mets are getting smaller, although there are still seven of them. On top of this, my CA 27.29 tumor marker has fallen yet again from that all-time high of 300, to 150 at the end of June, now at 85! Altogether this means that the Abraxane/Avastin combo is really working.

Dr G says that he wants to keep me on this chemo combo. When my CA 27.29 drops to normal (30), he will order a PET/CT scan to check on where in my body I have active mets. Then he'll order another couple of rounds of chemo before he gives me a "vacation."

Although this was truly good news, it still is hard to face more months of chemo. If my tumor marker continues to fall at this rate, I am predicting about two months of active treatment before a PET/CT scan will be possible. A round of this chemo combo is three weeks on and one week off. Then another couple of months of treatment after a scan. I feel challenged by spending that much more time bald, feeling poorly, with low energy, etc. But if it will kick my cancer into submission, then somehow I will find the inner strength to keep doing it. And all indicators appear to show that this treatment does indeed work for me.

As an aside, I told Dr G about feeling stuffy and having a runny nose for the past two weeks, plus a mouth sore that won't go away. He suspects either I have allergies (hah!) to explain the nose and sinuses, or that I have a viral infection. It's likely not chemo-related, since my white blood cell counts are not low and that's what usually causes mouth sores.

He bumped up my dose of valacyclovir from 500 mg daily to 1000 mg twice a day to wipe out any viral infection. He also recommended Allegra in case it is allergies, but I am reluctant to take that at the same time and have it mask the symptoms. Then I'll never know if I have allergies or a viral infection. (I may have had a viral infection in my mouth and throat last summer. Or it may have been a side effect of the Doxil. We'll never know, since I was treated for both.) Plus I am more anemic than usual, which explains my feeling tired all the time.

All this helped me understand why I felt so bad on our recent Alaska cruise. I really was sick, and no amount of hot water with honey and lemon, using the neti pot, or gargling with a salt water/baking soda solution could really help.

Dr G is giving me another week to recover from whatever is going on in my head and mouth. My next chemo is scheduled for September 12, presuming I feel better.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:53 PM

    Oh, Jill. What happy news! ~debby