Weekend update

Just a quick note to let you know that things progress for me.  I am still experiencing nausea and got sick a couple of times this week.  My doctor put me on another anti-nausea medication (scopolamine).  More and more, I am leaning toward not continuing chemo.  As bad as I have been feeling, I felt worse on chemo and I do not thinking it makes sense to go through that discomfort.

Right now, I’m scheduled to receive simple IV fluids the next 2 Tuesdays.  On the 8th, in addition to getting my fluids, I will also get my next set of scans.  So we’ll have a better sense of how I’m doing at my doctor’s appointment on March 15.

On the upside, I have been enjoying having my Mother visiting with me since Wednesday.   Also, my sister came down yesterday.  Between them and all of the support at work, church (we have 2 churches making us meals each week), and the karate school, I feel very loved.

Merle

Doctor Discussion

I had my appointment today and Dr. Kauh and I decided that instead of completely stopping chemo, I am going to take a 1-month holiday from it.  Hopefully, that will be enough to let me get back some of the zip in my step.  Meanwhile, my weight continues to drop.  I was 174 today, down from 179 last week.  One of the biggest surprises was the level of my bio marker.  The CA19-9 marker is an indication of active pancreatic cancer.  When I was first diagnosed, my CA19-9 never really got over 50 (upper level of normal is 37).  Unfortunately, my level last week was 320, well above normal.

So I am not completely giving up on treatment, but I’m taking (hopefully) a sufficient holiday to start to feel better.  We’ll see how I’m feeling in mid-March.

Merle

Waxing Philosophic

This week, MaryBeth and I had a therapy appointment at which I finally came to grips with the fact that right now, the treatments I’ve been undergoing are palliative.  That means that the chemo and radiation are designed to slow the growth of the new tumor, not cure me.  The problem is my quality of life has been in the toilet since I started the new chemo.  Beyond the nausea and vomiting from the chemo, I am still experiencing nausea and vomiting from the radiation. (I have gotten sick everyday for the last several days).  When I’m not getting sick, it seems I am always tired.  Like I said, not much of a quality of life.

This week, I’m supposed to start another course of chemo, but I think we’re going to talk with Dr. Kauh about deciding when enough is enough.  At what point do the side effects of the treatment for an illness are more noxioius than the underlying condition.  I don’t know what the answer is going to be, but I’m at least asking the questions.

Merle

Another Holiday

The side effects of radiation suck.  Last time I had radiation therapy it was no problem – no side effects, nothing.  This time, I have been terribly fatigued and nauseous (and yes, I even got to throw up today — Woo Hoo).  Today I met with Dr. Kauh and we discussed the side effects I’ve been experiencing and we decided to put off chemo for another week.  I am hoping that by the end of the week, I’ll be feeling more like myself.

My big goals now are things like getting out of the house and interacting with people.  This past Sunday, the family and I went to a superbowl party.  I mingled as I could, but mostly people came up to me and we would chat.  Yesterday, I went to work; it was good to get back to the office.  I spent all day there and when I got home and was exhausted.  I should have left earlier in the day.

That’s about it for the news.  More later.

Merle