It’s been a very busy week, hence Friday morning before I can get out my update. I had chemo on Tuesday and that went without any problems. My oncologist is out for a family emergency so I saw one of the other doctors in the practice and we talked a little about what may be coming.
As I mentioned in my last note or the one before, my liver function tests are rising. This could either be because the tumors in the liver are growing or because of the chemo itself. I’m pretty sure, for my part, that it is tumor growth because they started up a little before I even started this chemo and, if you remember, they were going up pretty quickly before I started my very first chem over 18 months ago. If they keep going up, regardless of the cause, they will force stopping the chemo when they reach about 5 times the normal upper limits. Not to be a downer, but this is the last approved chemo for my cancer, so that would be the end of active treatment phase. I continue to get Zometa to slow down the progression of the metastases in the bones and prevent fractures. My bone pain has gradually been increasing over the last couple of weeks, so this week we increased the oxycontin to 30 mg twice a day and I am taking 3 - 4 doses of rescue oxycodone to keep the pain controlled. The really good news in that is that the pain is still very controllable and those are still moderate doses, so I presume I’ll keep going to the oncologist for Zometa until something happens to make it moot - fracture through that hip lesion, for instance, that would probably put me in a wheelchair - or until I opt for Hospice only care.
Except for the day after chemo, when I felt truly awful for a few short hours with pain and exhaustion, my energy level is good, nausea is minimal, appetite is good and I haven’t lost any more weight. There’s lots of interesting stuff going on at the hospital regarding Employee Health, H1N1 flu, practice realignments, etc. so plenty of administrative work to do and I have felt well enough to throw myself into it with abandon.