Thursday, October 8, 2015

5 appointments, 3 days, sheesh

Gonna miss my kiddo when I go to a conference for the weekend.
Just finished a good book with him and quickly are going to shift
to a new one... Haven't missed a storytime with him in a while... Even
the days when I'm coughing and unable to read much, we still have our
time together...
So. Yesterday I had to go get a PET scan done and I took a sick day since I knew I'd be useless at work before the scan since I had to fast for it.
The scan is still as isolating as it is in Hong Kong. Similar everything. Scans suck a little more now since I don't prefer to lay on my back since pain is ridiculously bad after 5 minutes. Having to lay on my back without taking tylenol? Very worrisome. Got thru it all just fine. I'm good at staying still. (Guess I have a little practice with 3 rounds of radiation!)
While I was isolated for an hour letting the radiation seep thru my body for the PET scan, the nurse pulled a miracle and scheduled a brain MRI a few hours after the PET scan.
I hated that MRI. I don't use the word too often but MRI contrasts suck totally. First I'm in a head cage and have to hold still while things bonk, buzz, whir, and shake all around. For 25 minutes. Then they injected a contrast into my poor overused vein and walked away. Nope. Not happening. Had to hit the panic button so that I could sit up and deal with the nausea side effect from the contrast, yuck. Got over it. They said it happens to those who are lightweight... Yup, that's me presently.  15 minutes more of laying still. Had earplugs and headphones on. Once in a while heard classical music. Hmm. Not so fun. Got thru it.
So I had to get both tests done for the new oncologist I'm seeing next Monday.

Today was interesting.
First I met the gastroenterologist and discussed my swallowing problems with him. Why not just schedule the stinking procedure? I'm not sure. Oh well. Next Thursday or Friday I'll be going thru an hour long procedure where they'll possibly put a stint into my esophagus. There's consequences, of course. It could slide. Go down into my stomach. It will likely make me hurt for 2-3 days as the stint expands. He only wants it in there for 6-8 months. Said it can create problems if it is there longer. Said that I have to sleep at an angle because I could have really bad acid reflux since there's no barrier anymore once the stent is in place.
Found this brochure about what to do after the stent is placed...

Next I met with my oncologist. Had good conversations with her. We went over the Foundation I results and she found that there was a immunotherapy drug that my tumor reacted three ways to "genomic alterations detected"... so she got permission from me (of course) and is now applying to get it for me through compassionate care.
The immunotherapy drug is called Temsirolimus.
I know it is normally connected to renal cell carcinoma. It is not on my oncologist's normal radar. She said it was very good that we had the Foundation I testing because it brought to light a drug that has a little promise. It is in a 2nd trial trying out treatment for gynecological cancers/cervical cancer and has shown promise. I'll take that hope.
Shall see how long compassionate use application takes. I'm still seeing the new oncologist on Monday and also another oncologist on Thursday.
We also discussed other things, liquid versions of medicine, especially tylenol... Unfortunately the Tamoxifen I take is liquid form with the flavor of licorice added in, YUCK. I HATE black licorice. I HATE the seeds as well... So I'll crush that pill.
Handed her my paper work for my Advance Directive... it came in the last Hong Kong shipping package... Good to get it sorted out and make sure the hospital knows my wishes.
Grateful a friend is helping me with paperwork and such... I'm in the process of gathering what I've already got... wills, etc.

Eating is such an issue.
Had to fast yesterday for the PET scan and afterwards met my mom and had a delicious sandwich. Unfortunately around 20 minutes into my slow eating process things got... blocked up and I couldn't figure out what to do. Had to lie down at the restaurant in a booth. Blech. Took around 25 minutes or so to recover but felt like crap and barely had any interest in dinner. Needless to say when I weighed in today I'm down to 119.5. :( Very unhappy about that but will continue to try. I'm drinking protein shakes thanks to my husband making them for me in the mornings. I'm slowly going about the days. Barely able to drink a mug of warm lemon water first thing in the morning. So odd to adjust to. But I'm trying. Dinner time is a little better. Today at lunch I had delicious soup but could only get in the broth. Sigh. Shall see. Got noodles, a little chicken and more noodles in me at dinner tonight. Better than I've eaten for a few days. Thanks mostly to my mom's cooking!!

Have another Avastin infusion tomorrow. Grateful my sister is going to be with me. I love my family. So much. I'm so grateful to spend time with them. So happy I'm close by now... Makes it so apparent to me how much I missed them last year... and how many people helped be my family in Hong Kong last year. I miss those beautiful, supportive friends...

Went to the best yoga instructor ever's class yesterday. Appreciated her advice on how to help my back, throat and eyebrows. Working to not raise my eyebrows so often. I never noticed how much I use them til now and she pointed out that it adds stress that's unnecessary. Also learned about some chair poses that should help me, give me more energy... Boy I've missed her classes. Happy to sneak in one again...  after the PET and MRI it felt good to do a healthy action.

Gotta do a crazy face too mom! :)
Thanks as always for journeying with me...
Finding promise.
Holding hope close to my heart and being patient, very patient with myself.


  1. I'm holding hope for you close to my heart too Debbie. Sending you love, hugs and loads of doggy kisses from Xena.

  2. You are educating so many and inspiring so many. What a week! You continue to amaze me. Stupid cancer. :)) xxxxxx

    1. Thank you... many hugs your way... xxxx

  3. Hahaha! That photo is the ONLY time you are allowed to raise your eyebrows. ; ) Much xoxoxoxoxx.

    1. ;) Made me laugh to post it as well! :)