Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Update on tests and chemo…..

(I have no idea why the first part of this has a white background!)
I saw my PCP this morning about this left side that is still giving me fits. Pinpointing the location, he thinks that the "pop" felt (the 3rd week of Oct) is likely a separation of the cartilage and bone on the lowest rib. It most likely happened originally due to being weakened by chemo....... and my age. (ARGH!) A couple weeks ago, it was getting a little better – enough that I didn’t think about it all day long.  I probably reinjured it taking boxes downstairs. L Since that time, it has become a real thorn in my side – literally!  I’ve had 2 CT scans since that time – one he ordered at Hutch and the other Nov. 6 in Kansas City – both of which were negative as far as this side was concerned.  I asked if an ultrasound would show anything, and he said, “Probably not”, but he would order one.  So, I had that, and it was negative.  He said to just take anti-inflammatory pills for a few days (which I was told in Alabama to avoid due to my kidneys but he said my last kidney function test looked pretty good), and put some heat on it.  AND not carry boxes downstairs or do anything that aggravates it!  These things take long time to heal, and my body is not in an optimum healing mood right now!!

I was able this morning to pull up my last CT scan details from KC to show him.  This was the first time I had seen those myself.  This is interesting because it is not what my oncologist told/showed me when I was there for that last scan.  He had just come from talking with the radiologist, but apparently when the final results were read and published, it changed a bit.  Here is the report on my chest (I’ll put definitions in ( ) for those who are unfamiliar with medical terminology.):

Lungs and Pleura: There has been development of a tiny 4 mm (0.1 in) nodule within the right upper lobe with probable central cavitation (Cavitation is when the center of the tumor dies) on image 26 of series 2. Small 5 mm subpleural (situated or occurring between the pleura (a serous membrane that envelopes the lungs) and the body wall) nodule within the posterior right lower lobe on image 37 as well as a small subpleural sub-5 mm nodule within the right middle lobe on image 39 have also developed. No pleural effusion (an escape of fluid into a body cavity).  Chest Wall and Osseous (bony) Structures: No destructive osseous lesions are seen.

So, before, I thought I had one tiny spot on each lung, but the final reading showed 3 tiny spots on the right lung.  That was a bit unsettling.  The one good thing (if there is any) is that the spots are all on in the right lung – far away from my right side pain – thus this pain I’m having in my left side is highly unlikely to be cancer. Praise the Lord for one blessing at least!!

I was able to get my ECHO of my heart moved up to 11:00, and I even got in there about 10:45.  That would have been a piece of cake had I not had to lie on my left side the whole time.  That was not comfortable, given the pain is on my left side, but thankfully it didn’t take long.  I told the tech that the results needed to be called to Dr. Page’s office immediately upon being read.  He said he would put a note on it.  On the way home, I called Dr. Page’s office just to alert them when the ECHO had been completed.  She said they had put a note on the order to called immediately with the results, too.  She said to tentatively plan on starting the chemo tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.  I hate to miss Bible study, but the doctor is not in on Wednesday afternoons.  I suppose waiting one more day might not hurt, but I’m just so anxious to get it started.

My face is really getting bad.  Just one week has made a big difference.  
Here is 7 days ago.

Here is today:

I’m just hoping this one place on my cheek does not break open and start draining!  And I’m praying it does not get into my left eye since the “rash” is coming down into that area near my eye.  
You can see the reddened area down my temple and near the outer corner of my eye.

Here is the normal side.

I would sure hate to think of losing the vision in my left eye!!!!!!!!

Before we left Hutch, I went to the infusion center to check in with my favorite nurses.  One was not there, but I talked with the other one and told her that I had changed to Dr. Page in McPherson.  She hated that I would not be taking my treatment there, and I hated it, too.  The nurse that worked for Dr. Haenel was there, and she said, “Oh, don’t you just love Dr. Page?!?!”  I said that I did and thought it a bit strange coming from her.  Oh, well, they all know the situation there, and I’m sure they are aware that several have left and are going to Dr. Page now.  They asked me to stop by now and then to let them know how I was doing.  I told them that I would.  Anda told me that this chemo I was going to take was stronger than the one I had taken.  She said to prevent mouth sores, keep ice in my mouth the whole time I’m getting the drug infusion.  I was glad for that tidbit, because I had not read that anywhere, but it makes sense.

The chemo I’ll be taking is Adriamycin, and it is a common chemo agent for lots of different cancers.  As I understand it, it is a “push IV”, so it doesn’t take long, and I think it is every 3 weeks.  It is red and will turn my urine red.  It is more likely to cause nausea than the 1st med, so I’m to take a nausea pill every 8 hours for 48 hours.  I really don’t like nausea or vomiting, so I sure hope that pill works. I’ll let you know how the first dose of chemo goes.  I just want to get it started. 

I’ve been blessed to have this 4 ½ months off.  I’ve felt good (except for this pesky side!), and I plan on feeling good through this next round, God willing.  I appreciate all your prayers more than I can say!!

As always……..I’m in His hands…….

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