A week after my liver MRI and talking with The Blood Guy late on a Monday night, I finally got to have my appointment. He walks in the exam room, throws his arms around me and says, “I don’t know how you do it kiddo!.” I secretly hate this term of affection as he is only 3 years older than me but I’m happy he’s happy 🙂
“No liver mets NOW, but it will happen. What do you want to do?”, he says. I show him my plan which includes a Gemzar/Carboplatin combo. He tells me his plan did not include combos yet and wants to exhaust all single agent chemos before we move to combos. I then talk about Abraxane. We discussed this about 11 months ago, only 11 months ago when we believed Xeloda would last 2-3 years.
He agreed but explained he wanted me to start Taxotere. But before we go into details, He asks, “What’s your social schedule like over the next 3-4 months?” This is the definition of Palliative care. My QOL (quality of life) Is important and he knows that. I show him I’m really busy with traveling.. NYC, Portland in May. I was recently nominated Breakaway Cancer Survivor by NPAF for the Amgen event in LA. That happens in May too. We talk about the SE (side effects) before deciding if I can do it. Loss of hair and nails, night sweats, loss of appetite, chemopause (monthly cycles stopping due to chemo), hot flashes, extreme exhaustion. I quickly say I’m not ready to lose my nails. He knows this as he has always noticed my toenails and nails during my appointments. So, he agreed to Abraxane, 2 weeks on, 1 week off, infusion. No more pills.
Since the Taxane family failed the first time I went through chemo… (a 3.6 tumor grew during my 4 months of chemo the first time I was dx with breast cancer. I received 8 rounds of chemo, 4 A/C and 4 Taxol.) Naturally, I voiced my concern about this and he understood completely. We agreed I would be scanned in 2 months vs. my regular 3 months to see if its working. If I have any hint of progression or no lesion turning sclerotic I’ll be pulled from Abraxane and stat Ixempra immediatley. Ixempra is another single agent chemo. If Abraxane fails it proves I have resistant primary cancer and thats really bad as all cancers start from the primary.
I have scheduled my first Abraxane infusion on Wednesday, April 8th and I;m nervous and scared. I’m afraid it won’t work and there will be 2 months this cancer can have free reign over my organs. I can only try right?
I will also continue with my bone infusion Zometa. The nice thing about Abraxane is it’s only maybe a 2 1/2 hour infusion vs. Taxol at 6 hrs. Also, I won’t have all of the pre-meds that one generally receives with Taxol – Decadron ( a steroid), Prilosec, Bendryl and Emend (a very good anti-nausea). Abraxane is delvered and absorbed differently than Taxol even though they are the same drug. Technically it’s an albumin-protein delivery system which makes it absorbed differently thus not having the same reactions during infusion.
Alright then! Until April 8th I’m on 3000mg a day of Xeloda. My feet are bothering me and I’m tired but it’s not gonna stop me from going to Rick Springfield!
You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute. – Tina Fey