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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Latest Test Results

The latest test results were not good at all. Actually they were bad. I got a call from the doctor office to come in early, because the oncologist wanted to see me personally rather than have me see his assistant. I usually rotate every other time and have gotten test results from the assistant often. So I knew it was bad all the way there.

He said the CT scan showed significant growth in the cancer nodules. They are also becoming more dense and solid. We went through my options. I have been through every drug known to work on my type of cancer already. The current medication was the last resort. So we are now looking at:

  1. Contacting Sarah Cannon Research Center to find out if there are any clinical trials I am a fit for. The doctor was not hopeful on this, because clinical trials have been significantly reduced so the scientists could work on coming up with a covid-19 vaccine. 
  2. Go back to some of the chemo drugs I have been on before that didn't work. There are no statistics on doing that, so there isn't much hope there either. It's pulling straws.
I looked up current clinical trials at Sarah Cannon. There are some for colon cancer patients with certain types of cancer cells. Some of them include half of the group getting a placebo. That scares me. I could possibly not be on any medication at all.

Of all the previous drugs I have used the one most desirable is Oxaliplatin. That is the drug that gave me sudden neuropathy. Another dose of that is likely to put me in a wheelchair. So the doctor took that one off the table. He wants to try some of the ones that caused the least amount of negative/harsh side effects, which would be the Xeloda pills and Avastin infusions. That was what I was on the end of 2017-October 2018. 

I think we are looking at comfort and quality of life for my time remaining. I asked if I could expect to live another 3 or 4 months. He said "I believe so, but I can't say for sure." So there it is. 

CT Results

  1. findings are somewhat worse.
  2. multiple bilateral pulmonary metastasis are larger and more dense/solid.
  3. moderate-sized malignant right pleural effusion is slightly larger.
  4. Numerous right-sided pleural metastasis are slightly larger.
  5. partial atelectasis right lower lobe adjacent to the effusion remains.
  6. multiple anterior abdominal wall hernias remain.
MRI Results
  1. Moderate Right foraminal stenosis at the T11-12
  2. Mild central stenosis at L2-3. Right lateral recess stenosis. Mild right foraminal stenosis. Moderate facet hypertrophy
  3. Mild degenerative change facet joints L3-4
  4. Mild bulge L4-5 without central stenosis. Mild left foraminal stenosis; there is small left extraforaminal protrusion at L4-5 with effacement inferior aspect of the exiting left L4 root within the left neural foramen. Left posterior lateral annular fissure. Mild facet hypertrophy.
  5. Mild bulge is eccentric to the right L5-S1 without central stenosis. Right lateral and mild right foraminal stenosis. Mild-moderate bilateral facet hypertrophy.
  6. Moderate sized right pleural effusion

Saturday, January 9, 2021

CT Time Again

 I just had another CT scan this week and eagerly await the results next week. It's like a nail-biting few days every time.

My last scan was just like most of the others, a slight increase in all the cancer. But I guess it's better than what happened last spring when all the sudden the number of nodules doubled and now I have them on the inside and outside of my lungs. I don't know how many there are total. The CT scan results always give me measurements on three or four. But I think there are probably 20 or so.

This stivarga isn't all bad. I do chemo everyday for 3 weeks, then I get a week off. During the three weeks my fatigue builds up until finally I just can hardly do anything. then the first couple of days of my week off I still feel really bad and nauseous. As that week goes on I end up with three or four days of feeling pretty good. That's when I usually am able to cook, get my laundry done, and catch up on dishes. 

The MRI showed that I don't have cancer in my spine. That was the good news. The bad news is that I have degeneration of my spine. There are a couple of different things named, long words that I can't remember. But the gist of it is my I have degenerative problems in my spine. My oncologist says I'm too sick to really go under the knife and have things done. It would be super difficult on me to recover, and I would be back in a wheelchair like I was last summer. I hated the wheelchair. I hated being on a walker. I hated the constant lung biopsies last summer. And I hated having a thoracentesis every 7 days. I think I'll just stick with the back going downhill.

The one difference now is that I have pain all the time. I never had that before. The pain is from cancer and neurological issues and degeneration of my spine. So it's mostly in my back and leg and feet. It makes it hard to walk. And sometimes at night I wake up feeling like someone is stabbing me in the leg.

So I'll keep my finger crossed and hope for the miracle that my cancer shrinks, which it never does and never has. I'll also hope for the second best, that nothing grew, which never happens. but I guess I'll be satisfied if he just says it grew no more than usual. It's my slow walk to the death doors. But I guess I keep in mind that death is part of life. I can't do much to enjoy life anymore but at least I have my comfortable chairs and plenty of TV and Roku. I'm still so happy that my parents have moved back to town from Houston. So at least I get some company several times a week, because they don't see anybody else but me.