I am a seasoned cancer patient. Something I never wanted to be. I am able to withstand painful needle sticks without fear. Something I never wanted to be able to do. I am engaged in a fight to live and to enjoy a robust life. Something I never wanted to have to deal with.
I feel the urge to talk about what I’m feeling today. I’m not phishing for pity, just telling it like it is. Sometimes it helps me in a big way to see a real account of the incredible privilege it is to be able to live with cancer, as opposed to it taking you down quickly. Without any doubt, the pain and suffering with which I, and therefore my family and friends, deal with because of this disease and the powerful medications I take, the gift of living that I’ve been afforded is a great victory.
So, let’s talk about positives: If you’re following, you know I had a CT with contrast of chest, abdomen and pelvis yesterday. The radiologist read the scan and so did Dr. Andrew Pippas. They read the scan. I read the report. We are all a bit flummoxed about this disease process. So, Dr. Pippas has ordered a PET CT, which is a nuclear scan to detect active disease. That should give my medical team enough additional information to be able to make recommendations about future treatment.
I’ll have the PET CT this Friday, May 26 at 1:45. What we hope to see is that the areas where we have concerns — my spine from L1-L3 and the spinal canal, and my remaining kidney which has a lesion that we’ve watched for 8 years, are not exhibiting active disease. That place on my remaining kidney is changing, based on the introduction of Cabozantinib, the drug I’ve been taking for about seven weeks. Changing into what, we don’t know at the moment.
I’ll share what we learn from the PET CT over the coming weekend. I hope we’ll have a more definite idea of what is happening and what we’re going to do about it.
My biggest issue in the quality of life department is that I’m hoarse as hell. 20% of the people who take CABO get extreme hoarseness as a side effect. I definitely am one of those 20%. Also, I’m dealing with some hand/foot syndrome. I have blisters on both of my feet and walking is difficult and painful. I’ve lost right at 60 pounds now and eating continues to be challenging. Also, my blood pressure is elevated and we’re concerned about that. High blood pressure is very dangerous to me because I only have the one kidney. This is a tough road we’re on right now.
Having all of my readers with us in spirit along the way has been a wonderful gift to Jill and me. I hope I can keep on track with posts as information becomes available. Thank you for your concerns. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your kindnesses. We could not be more grateful for all of you.