The last 5 months I’ve been busy enjoying a break in harsher treatments. I didn’t say I wasn’t treating, just doing a course of treatment that for my body, is fairly easy. I went back on Ibrance, along with a side of my favorite buttocks enhancer, Faslodex. I’m also still on Letrozole, which is an aromatase inhibitor.
My tumor markers have been slowly climbing since last September. Scans last November also showed mild progression in my bone mets. Since I wasn’t having more pain and still felt pretty good, I decided to keep going with the current meds.
April’s scan told a different story. A fair number of my bone mets had almost doubled in metabolic activity since November. Time for a change in treatment.
Two weeks ago I started my new treatment protocol. I’m taking 3 different drugs. CMF for short, or to be technical, cytoxan, methotrexate and 5 FU. ( I truly do love that FU.) It’s an “oldie but goody” treatment protocol. One of the meds is an oral chemo. I take 7 pills once a day for 14 days. On day 1 and day 8 of my treatment cycle I go into the clinic for two chemo “pushes”. It’s not really an IV. Just a syringe of the meds that are pushed into my veins through my port. I receive a nice dose of steroids and anti-nausea meds to counter side effects. Day 15 thru 28 I have off and then it all starts again.
I was hoping side effects would be minimal. It is daunting however, when the handout of possible side effects is 4 plus pages. Really. Turns out nausea is the number one side effect for me right now despite all of the additional meds they give me to try and counteract it. I’ve been having the dry heaves once or twice a day. Not fun. I have anti-nausea meds I can take, but they make me sleepy and prevent me from driving and trying to get a few things done. So, I’ve been making it work until later in the day when take them.
The last week or so before changing treatments was tough. I’ve know for a month or more that I’d need to change treatments. The closer it got to May 1, the harder it was. I hate not knowing how I’m going to feel or react to a new treatment. It messes with my business of living in a big way. Anxiety and fear ran the show the week before my appointment date though I tried to reign it all in and stay focused in the present. I searched hard and kept missing the balance point of peace known as Now. I fell on my face often, with some face plants lasting longer than others. Anyway, I’ve started now and am figuring out how to live with this new one. Because treatment is forever.
I’m still amazed and frustrated with how many people there are who don’t understand that I will continually be in treatment for my terminal illness until I die. Yes, I look pretty good ~ usually. I’m still going to the gym twice a week and still trying to walk and get out and about. But that’s just what I let you see. You don’t see the diarrhea, the constipation, the mouth sores, the hair thinning, the low blood counts and weakened immune system. The dry heaves in the bathroom, the bruises from low platelets and the never ending fatigue. Honestly, the fatigue. This past “easy” stretch of treatment enabled me to run maybe three errands at once. (Yea me!!) What you wouldn’t hear or see while I’m out is my mental dialogue “Ok, you can do it. Don’t fall over, just 10 more minutes and you’ll make it home.” 4 pm has become the new pajama time. Every time I do something out at night I regret it. Why, why, why did I say yes? Oh yea, because I do love you all and cherish you and want to be nocturnal, but dang, I’m a wuss. On the other hand, THANK YOU for still asking me! For not forgetting me, for after 6 years of this crap, still asking me what you can do to help. I am so fortunate to have the people I have in my life. I appreciate you!