Hello Family and Friends
Just an update to let you know what transpired this past week. Annette and I ended up taking two daily trips up to Duke on Thursday and Friday. We would have stayed overnight if we had know we would need to return on Friday but we didn't find that out until we were there on Thursday. This was to learn about the planned next round of treatments for me since surgery is out of the picture. Well, I'm going back to radiation and chemo treatments which will likely be 6 weeks long again. It was so much fun the first time we thought we might do it again!!! Oh well, the alternative is much worse.
We met with the chemo and radiation oncologists on both days. Also I had one more CT/PET scan on Thursday and a CT/Sim scan on Friday. Fortunately, this time, the PET scan did show the new tumors up at the top of my esophagus and NOwhere else. The chemo doctor said she believes that they (about 12 small tumors) showed up this time (bright images of radioactive sugar) where they didn't a month ago is likely due to the fact that the surgeon had taken several biopsyes (sp?) of them just prior to the planned surgery last month. The act of doing that likely created scarring and, as a result, the tumors showed "activity" which in turn allowed for the sugar to attach to them and be noted. Sounds plausible huh?
As a result of that, on Friday I had to have the CT/Sim scan wherein the radiation team draws the tattoos on my body as reference points and the rad doc will then do his "planning" on where the techs are to shoot the radiation treatments this time around. It was so much fun to get two more IV's this week for the contrast solution and to get to drink the lovely tasting contrast solution, twice more, as well. For those of you who know what I'm talking about, that stuff taste great huh:(?
I start my new round of 5 1/2 weeks of radiation treatments next Thursday. I will only be taking one chemo drug this time, orally (7 double whopper sized pills/day), which is Xeloda. I pray that I may not experience as much nausea from this as the last time as it was the infusion chemo drugs that made me feel so crummy.
By the way, thank you to all of you who have been paying your taxes on time. My Xeloda alone was just over $4K this time not counting the other drugs they gave me for nausea prevention. Oh, I am also planning on taking a ginger supplement daily based on a recent article in the paper my daughter sent me showing the positive affects of ginger for chemo patients fighting nausea. I'll take anything to not feel like I did before.
We may try and do it a little different this time and maybe drive up on Monday return home on Tuesday, return on Wednesday and stay until Friday. This will give us at least a little time to take care of the house and our plants. That way we will only have to stay over 3 nights vs. 4 or 5 depending on if we went up on Monday or Sunday night. It will be a pain again, all this traveling, but again, the alternative is much worse.
We continue to ask for your prayers and well wishes for us as we continue to travel this bumpy path to full remission (hence the title of this blog). The love and support we have received so far is truely amazing and much appreciated. God is guiding us down this path to remission. We always love to hear from you tooooooo...
Drew & Annette