Saturday, March 22, 2014

Another reaction and encouraging numbers

Another treatment in process (#9) and another weekend of feeling like crap.  Not a whole lot to look forward to, but a necessary part of the journey.  Yesterday was a long day in the infusion suite.  It all started with a port access and labs, followed by a visit with our Physician's Assistant.  We asked questions about my headaches and the growing rashes on my stomach at each of my Lovenox injection sites.  My headaches are spurring an appointment for an MRI to make sure nothing has moved into my brain.  We'll get those results in a couple of weeks.  As for my red, splotchy stomach…we're trying a no bandaid approach.  If that doesn't work, we'll see what the next step is.  All of my liver numbers are good and my blood work is normal (platelets, white count etc.).  So that's all good news.

Then we headed upstairs to the infusion suite where things got a bit dicey after a routine start to the treatment.  Again, it was the new drug Zaltrap.  We had the nurse start it out at a slower rate as we had been instructed to when I had my last reaction and almost crashed.  Sure enough, even at a slower rate I had another reaction.  This one was caught early and wasn't nearly as bad, but I still got boosted up with steroids and Benadryl to stop it and stabilize me.  After an hour long nap we started the drug again at an even slower rate.  That seemed to work.  We'll see how it works out next time.

In other (and better) news I have two really good numbers to report.  My weight and CEA.  I actually GAINED a pound between last treatment and yesterday!  WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!  As you know, this has been a huge struggle for me since this entire process began.  With the diet changes and the minimal changes in exercise that I've made, I've seen tangible differences.  It's still incredibly difficult to eat as much and as frequently as I should, but I push through the pain and keep going.  So…hopefully we see the trend continue.

The other good number is my CEA cancer marker.  It's gone down 17 points in the last 2 weeks from 106.1 to 89.1.

So we like this trend.  :)  I have a CT on Thursday and will find out the results of that the following week.  Once we get those we'll be able to see if they correlate to the CEA numbers.  Hopefully this means that we are stopping the cancer in it's tracks or maybe…just maybe making it back off a little bit. I'm hoping to see more good liver than before.  However…being a realist, I'm prepared to see progression, knowing that the CEA number can be deceiving at times.  In any case, it give me hope and sometimes that's all you need.  :)

On a closing note, my McRock'nRoll was absolutely a lifesaver in it's first real test.  A 3 hour museum tour.  Built in seat and something to lean on were indispensable.  

Always have a place to park your butt.