The good news this week is that my scans showed no changes in my cancer! The annoying news is that I had a reaction to the contrast used for the CT. I had itching, irritation and swelling of my tongue the last 2 scans. The symptoms showed up 1-2 days later and were very concerning to my doctor. (the dangerous reactions can happen suddenly and progressively worse with each exposure) This time, I was premedicated with Prednisone and Benadryl but still about 5 hours after the scan, I began having the same reactions. I talked to doctors off and on and decided to stay at home and treat it with more Benadryl throughout the night. We live a couple of blocks from a hospital so we figured if I started having trouble breathing Eric could get me to the ER.
Wednesday morning was Audrey’s 8th grade graduation so when I finally talked to my Oncologist and she prescribed more prednisone (and continued Benadryl) , Eric had to go by the pharmacy on his way to the ceremony. He made it just in time and within a couple of hours of taking the Prednisone I was feeling much better. By Wednesday night I was almost back to normal.
For more than a year, the cancer has been about the same size. One tumor has disappeared and only scar tissue remains and the other one has “flattened” but measures still a little under a centimeter. Now my Medical Oncologist will talk to the Radiation Oncologist and find out if they want to do some radiation to just get rid of what’s left. If we go with that option, I will continue the Pembromizumlab every 3 weeks and scans periodically, indefinitely. Now we need to come up with another option for scans, since I can’t have the CT contrast anymore. Probably PET scans are the next option, but they are expensive and she says the insurance will argue with us for every single scan.
I believe she told me on Thursday there was a 4.7% response rate for this trial. All over the country there were about 2000 women participating. I’m so thankful to be in this 4.7% but clearly there’s a long way to go with immunotherapy.
School is out as of yesterday and we are tired. This week was hard. I was a MESS on both Prednisone and Benadryl and somewhat anxious awaiting results of my scan, setting aside a day this week for the infusion, last week of school stuff… I’m glad it’s over.
We are getting ready to travel to Georgia on Tuesday. My dad is having surgery for a heart stint next week before undergoing surgery in a few weeks for both thoracic aorta aneurysms AND abdominal aortic aneurysms. He’ll be in Piedmont hospital if any of our family friends are interested. My sister and I will be camped out there for a few days. He has not had an easy time with his health the last few years and I know he wants to be healthy so he can be back in his routine of going to the rehab center to work out and traveling with his buddy in the Poultry industry each week. Once he recovers he can exercise again but for now he can’t have his blood pressure elevated at all. Looking forward to seeing him.
As summer begins I’m thinking about goals. Things shift in the summer, mornings are slower, there’s more time for so much. I don’t want to waste it. One goal I have is to not be the one preparing all the meals for the kids OR cleaning up their kitchen/house messes. Who’s with me? I may go purchase 4 colors of plates, utensils, cups and towels. (eric will disagree with spending money on this but $80 for the sanity of his wife may be worth it. I don’t know. He has a firm philosophy against spending money) That way everyone would be required to use their own color and the person responsible for clean up would be clear. We don’t do day camps so there is a lot of down time at home. Sounds great until I want to throw everyone out the windows. I’m open to suggestions in this area.
With that, I’ll close. 🙂 Happy summer and happy scans that show now cancer growth. Thank you for all the support.