June 2008


The diagnosis is a pulmonary embolism. Yes, that is a serious concern, but I’m actually relieved. I feel better knowing that it’s not likely to be the tumor causing the aches and pains. I will be getting a CT tomorrow to confirm. 

For now it’s wait until my next CT on July 30 – or when the trial starts – whichever is first – unless something else comes up. Last week’s blood clot (left leg) has improved a lot, but is not completely gone. I am trying to keep it elevated when I can.

Sunday evening I started having some aches and pains in my chest. Not a good sign. I will be seeing my doctor today. For now, I try not to worry – as best as I can.

The clinical trial has been delayed with no estimate of when it might start… other than I should still be eligible when it does. Instead of preparing paperwork for the program, I am wondering what my options are and dealing with the disappointment.

I’ve also have another blood clot – this time it’s my left leg. It’s at my knee so it’s not considered a serious one. But, it may limit my treatment options. It also means I’ll have to continue the injections for quite awhile. 

I am enjoying being off chemo for a few weeks. Among other things, my taste buds have recovered.

Ken and I were married on Sunday, June 22! It was every bit the magical day we both wished for. Thank you to all our friends and family that shared the special day with us and to those that couldn’t but sent their wonderful wishes!

The news is good. The main tumor is smaller – down to about 1.7cm and part of that activity might be inflammation. The site in my spine was not detected and might not have been a tumor in the first place – maybe just the abnormality with my disks in my lumbar vertebrae. A biopsy was never done on it due to the difficult location. The tumor in my abdomen is also not showing any activity. All but one of my lymph glands look normal. One near the main tumor is still showing cancerous activity. So everything is now localized to the lung. Now to keep it from coming back!

 

It looks like the Lucanix clinical trial is the next step. If all goes well, I should start the first week of July. In the meantime My next chest CT (CAT scan) is scheduled for 2 months out. I might get one earlier if needed for the trial. 

I just finished testing to assess the effectiveness of these last 2 cycles of chemo. Tuesday was my CT scan (chest, abdomen, thorax) and today was my PET scan. We will get the results on Monday afternoon when we meet with Dr. B. We will also learn more about the trial and about the latest in treatment. Dr. B will be just back from the annual American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) conference.

 

The PET scan was supposed to take about 2 1/2 hours, but took most of the day. We finally got out of there after 4:30. Most of the delay was because of the problems getting an IV started for the contrast. I quit counting the sticks after 6. My veins kept “blowing.” It sounds worse than it is. The vein collapses and then balloons when they test it with saline. The worst part is when the technician “fishes” around trying to thread the IV in. After all the attempts – including one in my foot, we were given the choice of a trip to the infusion center for an IV line or waiting for the senior tech to try. We opted to wait the 45 minutes for the tech to arrive. He said he’d try once before sending us out for the IV line. Luckily, he got it on the first try. The contrast took less than a minute then the IV was out. The chemo is blamed for the condition of my veins. I am sure I will need a port for any future chemo treatments. 

 

Throughout all of this Ken was patient, supportive, comforting and loving – as always. He has made this long ordeal bearable. Each day I count my blessings for having such a wonderful partner by my side.