Thursday was good news day!! I had a scan on Tuesday and my appointment with the oncologist yesterday. As he looked at the pictures and compared with the last scan from the 29th December he was pleased to show how my tumors had shrunk. It was quite noticeable how where there were lots of bumps in the tumors along the chest wall it was now a lot flatter and smaller. In the previous scan around my windpipe on the left side the tumor could be seen but it has now receeded from this area and it was clear. So the Alimta is working for me at the moment. Wonderful. Not only is the Alimata working but I know it was also the faith and prayers of so many on my behalf. Before my appointment I could not call the outcome myself as the pain had not subsided but the oncologist told me that the pain can still remain. I was happy to keep going with my chemo. So lot no 4 was administered!! My white blood cells were down so he is going to make my next session 4 weeks instead of three.
I know this is not a cure but will certainly give me some more time and lengthen the prognosis.
I still strongly that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and he is looking after me.
I seem to be coping with this round a bit better - extremem fatigue set in last Saturday afternoon and seemed to ease up today. I do get sick of just sleeping and lying around on those days. I had my first battle (only a little one) with nausea today - I increased my pain killer patches last night - so I am pretty well convinced it is the pain killers brining on the nausea. As my body copes with this stage of the treatment I notice that it gets hard to keep positive about the treatment and the good it is doing me!!
I appreciate all the love and support of my family and friends - they help to keep me going. Een though I am not always able to accommodate their invitations I appreciate being thought of.
John and I fronted up to the hospital on Thursday for my third lot of chemo. The nurse was unsure if I would be able to have it as the results of my blood test were not good. After asking a few more questions she rang the doctor and he asked that they wait till he came to see me. After the wait he arrived and we discussed my progress and he decided to go ahead with the chemo and that he would arrange for 2 units of blood for a transfusion. All went well - but it turned out to be a long day - we left the hospital at 6.45pm.
I have been doing okay since then and the tiredness is starting to set in today. The extra nausea drugs finish today - so we will see what tomorrow brings.
The prolonged nausea I have been experiencing is most likely from the pain killers but the doctor decided not to change them as most things will bring the same result.
I am feeling positive and ready to tackle this round - here we go!!
I have handled this round much better - but I have still found nausea challenging. Today for no reason I can figure out I had bad nausea which basically wiped out the day. Last Thursday was also a very bad day. I relish the good days. A bad nausea day can put me in the doldrums and having feeling very sorry for myself and just wanting things to be like my old life before mesothelioma.
I have been rather slow to post how this round is going...sorry. As on the 1st session the first couple of days were okay. Sunday I was not feeling too good - again the nausea kicked in and I have had it ever since. I must have a very sensitive stomach!! I have taken more nausea medication this time. Some of it works well and some only makes it tolerable.
Monday and Tuesday I particularly found mentally challenging as I was feeling terrible and the possibilities of my situation seemed very confronting. I found staying positive over these few days a challenge. But of course things do pick up and the the last couple of days I have coped with nausea better. I don't seem to have got as tired this time - whether that has been relevant to the change in my painkillers I am not sure.
I visited with a doctor on Thursday afternoon who was a very kindly gentleman and also told me that I will never be a statistic and that I must remain optomistic. He did brighten up my outlook.
My treatment went okay on Thursday with the doctor endeavouring to addrss my nausea troubles. I took a different drug before the treatment and as he feels the nausea so late in the treatment may be due to my pain drugs so he has changed them from ocycontin to a patch I wear on my arm and only have to change every 72 hours. I will also take some other tummy medicine - let's hope we are on to something.
On the way home from the hospital I suggested to John we go away for a couple of days as based on last time I felt okay for the first couple of days after the treatment. So we have come over to stradbroke for acouple od days. The waves and sea breezes are good therapy and so far so good.
I have survfived the first round of chemo and will front up tomorrow for round 2. I have found you have to put a lot of work and faith in to keeping positive,- even when you don't want to, enjoy what you can. I feel pretty úseless'most of the time - not able to help where I would like to, not able to get the things done I would like to - someone said yesterday at a support group John and I attended that you can never go back (sometimes I want my life before I got sick so badly) I just have to make the best of each day and what it offers and have hope. Hope is such an important part of moving forward and not looking back. Of course I hope that this treatment is going to stop those cancer cells in their tracks for a while!!
I have a picture of my sister who passed away in 2007 on the board in front of my desk and I think of the heroic way she handled her illness which was a lot more devistating than mine and it gives me a lot of strength.
I survived today without any nausea - it was great. Yesterday I started off in the morning with nausea and I was going visiting an aunt so I took one of the magic wafers and I was great for the rest of the day - I felt normal again!!
I am a bit stubborn and take a long time for some things to sink in - I will now take medication for nausea if I need it - I won't suffer through!! This should make my next session of chemo (next Thursday) more endurable!!
I was feeling pretty good this morning but tonight I had some nausea again! I need to get to the bottom of why I feel this way. We plan to go to a support group next week maybe we can do some follow up there.
Fatigue was still there today but I was not quite as tired. I had a special treat this morning of going to a special meeting where an apostle spoke. At the end of the meeting he shook everyone's hand and when I shook his hand he said we wanted to meet me and he held my hand warmly and I felt his strength and the spirit strengthened me and tears flowed. It was not a great thing but a very special thing. We also had a family activity today which also lifted my spirits. It has been a great day which I am so thankful for.
We had a visit to an organisation linked to centrelink this morning where they asked me a lot of questions about my symptoms and what I can and can't do. I don't know if this encouraged my feelings of depression today but I certainly struggled today to keep positive. This afternoon I had a reflexology session which was absolutely 'wonderful'and was very relaxing. I am planning to have them every two weeks as it is great for feeling relaxed.
I was not nausious when I woke this morning - it was a great feeling. The day had a better outlook from the beginning!!As predicted in the literature my mouth is feeling a bit funny - but it was a good day.
I had to use the magic wafer to ward of nasea even though I tried hard to convince myself that when I woke in the morning it would be gone! The drug which was a wafer I put on my tongue did the trick and I could enjoy the day. Before I went to bed I felt the nausea was leaving me and I was able to enjoy a nice dinner.
Today had a great outcome even if it did not get off to a good start. My nausea was still around this morning and I had a bit of a 'melt down'- it was really getting to me. I phoned the nurse at the hospital cancer centre and she told me to come in and they would give me some fluids and get me something for the nausea. John took me in and the nurses were really great - I was able to tell them how feeling sick all the time was starting to get to me and they assured me I would go home feeling better. They were right. I had a couple of litres of saline, with some added nausea medications put into the drip. I left after seeing the doctor feeling much brighter and detrmined we had broken the nausea cycle!! So far, so good. The doctor was a bit miffed as to why the nausea had started so long into the treatment - I never had it for the first few days!!!!! I enjoyed my mango and icecream tonight for dessert.
The nausea was the most troubling today - I tried to eat small amounts often which seemed to have worked a bit better.It is still my main annoyance along with the fatigue. I am definitely feeling a bit better today.
Today, I was very sleepy. Slept through most of the day. I had a bit of nausea also. I rang the oncology unit as I did not have a very good night with my cold/flu. The nurse told me to go to the GP to see if I needed antibiotics. I went along and got some - but I am feeling much better in the flu dept so hopefully I will have a good night.
Not everyonhe gets the chance to lie around all day - I was promised fatigue and it set in today. I slept most of the day. I feel very, very tired. But, I have all the time in the world to laze around!!. The sore throat has developed into more of a cold which I need to keep an eye on.
Apart from the sore throat I have been doing well to-day. Spent the day resting and then this afternoon we went down to Lota and got some fish from 'Bart's'and took a small walk. I rang the hospital about the throat and they told just to make sure if I get a temperature or my symptoms change to contact them.
One day following chemo - worke up with a bit of a sore throat but apart from that I have had no other concerns today. Looked after some grandchildren, went for a swim and had dinner with another daughter, visited with our son and his family. Been a good day. The spanner in the works is that 2 of the grandchildren living with me have whooping cough and their parents aren't feeling too well. So, I need to stay some distance away - and this afternoon I went to the chemist and bought a mask!!!
Since making the appointment for chemotherapy my thoughts have been on the event- I went for my first chemo treatment today with Alimta and Caroplatin. It took a couple of hours by infusion. I also had a vitamin B12 injection and some anti nausea drugs given to me. It all went well.
Before the treatment I had another meeting with the oncologist to ask him some questions that I wanted to know. What would be a possible prognosis if I had no chemo after seeing the rate of growth from the last ct scans - his reply - not longer than 12 months. Could the chemo shorten the prognosis if it didn't work - no. It doesn't increase the rate the cancer grows. We talked a bit about pain relief and the effects of these drugs. I needed to ask about driving - shouldn't be driving on my pain relief drugs - hate to give up any of my independence.....
The next week to two weeks will show how the drugs have affected my - my plan is to go on as usual and not sit waiting for it to happen...hope this plan works.
I went to see my grandchildren this morning and the sweetest thing was when I asked Sarah to ask Heavenly Father to help the medicine I was getting to work when she said her prayers at night, she replied "Can't we say a big prayer now". "Yes" I said and she proceeded to lead us in a short and simple prayer asking for just that. Thank you Sarah.
Before my last svcan and doctors appointment I had an increase in pain in my side and back - which I thought must be from my surgery. 'We had a great Christmas and went off optomistically to the doctor's on the 29th December. I had a CT scan (no trouble getting the vein!). When we went to the oncologist and he showed us the difference between the scan I had on the 6th October and the 29th December it was easy to see that the growth had grown considerably which was the reason for the increase in my pain. He prescribed strong pain killer's especially to get me through the night.
This visit was a real reality check and we were both upset about how quickly the cancer is growing. The oncologist told us that if I was to consider chemotherapy I should have it within 4 weeks.
These results made us consider the chemotherapy. After prayer we both felt that I should have it. We first thought we might wait till the end of January - then we considered how much the pain and growth were increasing and decided that we would go for thr 14th January. We feel good about going down this path in an effort to at least slow down the growth and possibly decrease the pain.
We attended a chemotherapy eduction session with a nurse last Friday. This was informative and gave us the chance to ask any questions.