Xeloda is an oral chemotherapy given for Metastatic Breast Cancer. It is taken 2 weeks on, one week off. THIS blog will document my first 3 weeks - aka - Round ONE.
After 5 1/2 years with Stage iv breast cancer, I get to start my New Year 2016 out with Oral Chemo called XELODA. The hope for this treatment, is that it will kill or reduce the cancer cells growing now in my Liver and both Lungs, and possibly my kidney as well (suspicious finding per December CT Scan) I am signed up with a Study where there will be someone following me weekly to determine how the "at home treatment" is received vs "in clinic treatment - intravenously". I will receive a call every Tuesday from the research student as well as my pharmacist the medication comes from to make sure I am not experiencing any horrible complications, especially since this medication has recently been approved by the FDA, and is still rather new to the list of treatment options. After these three weeks, I am scheduled to see my Oncologist, have blood drawn to be checked, and determine if we are making progress or not.
Here on this blog, I will be documenting my first month on the medication; what I eat, how I react, what I am able to do physically, etc... This is a 3 week on, one week off treatment, starting with 3 pills in the morning with meal, and another 3 in the evening with meal. (at least, I will attempt to document daily). Please note: this is a difficult time for my husband and myself, and it is made even more difficult by my inability to finish a sentence in a conversation due to the lung mets and fluid on my lung, making conversations complicated between us verbally.
My 2015 ended, by celebrating with my husband Mike, My sister-in-law and her hubby (she USED to be married to my eldest brother, she's more like a mom to me now in life, and my best friend). We enjoyed a wonderful meal of Rib Eye Steaks from the grill, colossal King Crab legs, baked sweet potatoes and (for me) a whole bottle of sparkling white Grape Juice in a Champagne glass. (we provided the steaks and the A1, they provided the rest. some may wonder how we manage to have steaks while on assistance; I shop smart. We found a great Meat Market near Irish Hills MI where we buy our meat and we stock up when we shop, so that we only have to go there every 3 months or so, rather than pay retail store prices for minimal quantities of food that comes from who knows where).
Mike and I came home at 11 pm, fed Marcy Kat and turned on the New Years Rockin' Eve on tv, and rang in the New Year at home, with our furbaby and each other. To wake the following morning starting my new course of treatment.
IF you would like to help us out financially during our journey further into living with this disease, to help us cover the expense of gas for medical appointments, vehicle repair or replacement, home modification or replacement, uncovered medications / supplements, special needs items, home assistance not covered by medicare/medicaid, etc... You may do so by making your secure donation at https://www.paypal.me/TLCwageWARonMBC_
New Years Day 2016. Woke up around 10 am, took my morning pills (Zyrtec and Prilosec) upon waking and hubby made me some toast w/ peanut butter and peach jam. Not to heavy, not too light...considering I was still full from the meal the night before. We spent the majority of the day in bed. It had been a crazy busy holiday leading up to this day, and we were both physically spent. Sleep felt great. Neither of us felt like cooking dinner, so Mike ordered pizza for us. All I could manage to eat was 2 slices. Back to bed for the night. Slept quite solid, no issues during day one thank God.
Berry Cobbler oatmeal for breakfast, and slept most of the day away. Had a bit of a pressure headache when I woke up this morning, but that may be from having to sleep on a wedge so I can breathe... nothing major; just tired. Leftover pizza for dinner, and I was able to get up and hang out in the living room for a few hours instead of bed. Feeling very winded when I do get up to do anything, so sat and played with Marcy Kat by making a toy for her with fabric scraps on a long pair of hemostats...which she loves! Hoping I am able to make it to Church tomorrow, with my mask of course to avoid potential germs...
Hardly slept - so many things on my mind and I think, I had exceeded my sleep requirements during the daytime napping... About the time I DID fall asleep, Marcy Kat came in the room, getting into mischief and woke us both up. This was roughly 5 am, and when the alarm when off at 830 am, I was just NOT feeling it and hit DISMISS instead of SNOOZE...
My daughter; whom had been working weekends for the past month, called at 1030 from church. She had taken the day off to surprise me at church today. Needless to say, we got up, dressed and made it there within the hour. I managed to choke down another toast sandwich, peach jam and cream cheese this time; so I could take my medication before we left. We came home from Church and I was already exhausted, so shoes off - slippers on and on the recliner I've been sitting since. Mike made dinner tonight; burgers with Portabella Mushrooms and Mac & Cheese. He's learning to be more creative with his cooking...his son Ryan promised to work with him (he studied Culinary Arts) so we don't end up living on cheese tacos and pizza. It's now time for my 2nd dose of the day, or # 6 in all... I'll be adding to this daily, to share with you all - and for my own record - how this Xeloda treatment treats me for this first three weeks.
DAY 4: Jan 4 2016... Noticed I keep experiencing mini sweat flashes (like a hot flash, but I actually sweat head to toe) since last night. Slept a bit better, but when we went to bed, my chest was very tight and painful, and it was hard to breathe. I made sure to use my inhaler and used the heating pad for about half an hour on my chest when I laid down, with my incline wedge to keep my head above my chest.
This morning, we woke to the alarm, as we had plans to meet a friend in Ann Arbor at 11:30. I had a rough time waking up, but managed to eat a small bowl of Great Grains cereal w/ 2% milk for my breakfast, and downed my meds for the morning. I should be hearing from the pharmacy today as I sent in requests to refill my Ibuprofen, and Pamelor (for neuropathy) over the weekend. My feet have been going crazy since running out of the Pamelor on Friday, it is for the nerve issues in my legs and feet. I have not been taking my Mirilax since NYE thinking that this medicine would cause loose bowels, but that has not been an issue, so today we did add a dose to my morning coffee. I have been getting rather bound up so we hope this one dose will get me back on track... talk about increasing the pain in my abdominal area!
We went out and I made sure to bundle up good. I'm loving the infinity scarf my stepson gave me for Christmas. It helps to block the cold air from my body, and my face! It is cold here today and we even had some lake effect snow come in from Lake Michigan in the mid-day hours. I am noticing when I am in the cold air, I cough horribly. Same thing happens if I happen to bend over, to tie my shoes or pick anything up for instance. The lungs are just not happy right now. I have so much to do and zero energy level to do any of it. The chest pain has subsided by evening, hoping that it is a sign the Xeloda is starting to eat away at those cancer cells that are right where the pain was located.
Dinner tonight will be baked Chicken breast marinated in Honey Dijon, and Baked Potato with sour cream & green onion. Simple to make and hopefully, easy enough to eat as well.
I scheduled my phone interview regarding the treatment with MSU for next Monday so they can determine how the treatment is going thus far. (this is the study I mentioned earlier).
DAY 5: Another rough night trying to fall asleep, woke up around 11 am and enjoyed a bowl of Great Grains w/ 2% milk for breakfast and took my meds without incident. Decided to head to the living room today, try sitting in the recliner to do some work on the computer, and started some laundry as well. Mike headed out to run some errands and get the truck worked on; needed a new ball joint installed. I managed to take a nice hot shower and did not wash off my pain patch, which is due to replace tomorrow. The shower sure felt good although my back was sore and it was difficult to wash the lower legs w/out the extended reach scrubbie on a stick tool... I always keep my cane and phone right outside the tub if Mike is home or not when I shower anymore; just in case.
With him gone at dinnertime while the truck was being worked on, I managed to make an awesome leftover Honey dijon chicken breast with cranberry sandwich with provolone cheese, and had some potato chips & a glass of Welch's Orange, Apple, Pineapple juice (it's soooo good!) for dinner, and again, took my pills - on time :)
I did have to message my doctors office regarding prescriptions that were expired and in need of refill. In this conversation, I made sure to let her know my present status. I also made several phone calls I'd been puttng off to get things taken care of; such as requesting a copy of the RX for my new glasses which I somehow lost, the appointment was in October and I've yet to fill that anywhere. Remaining in the living room / recliner to do my computer work and watch our new tv that a very dear friend provided us with; I felt much more productive today. Up until about mid-evening, when I noticed my lower back was beginning to hurt and moving about the house was not as easy as earlier in the day. We retired to bed around midnight. Not so bad considering I did not wake until about 11 am...
DAY 6: Slept solid, ended up laying on my right side, back was too sore to attempt the incline position. I felt much more comfortable and slept well through the night, until Marcy Kat came prowling around about 6 am. She only played around for a short while, and we were able to go back to sleep. Mike had plans to go have the front end alignment done today after replacing the ball joint last night, so he got me my cereal and coffee, and made sure I was comfortable w/ the heating pad (my back was in horrible shape upon waking today, unable to move legs without excruciating pain) and promised to stop at the drugstore to check on my other prescriptions that could not be filled yesterday. I don't know WHY we can't seem to get them all filled at the same time. We must make at least 5 trips a month to pick up different medications, thankfully; they are just a couple miles down the road from us.
About 1pm, I decided I could not sit in bed all day. I managed to set up the heating pad on the recliner, organized my area for better access (using my grabber to pick things up today) and started the next load of laundry that was left in the laundry room the night before. I cannot get around with out the cane today, my back is really a mess. I thought by using my knee brace yesterday as the screws in my femur at the knee were aggravated, would HELP me strengthen that area, not make it worse. Taking the day to work on getting things in order around here. Payed some bills and planning to work on my webstore. The kitchen is a disaster again, I sure hope that Mike will not have fits about having to do the dishes and figure out dinner again. He really is not experienced in that part of the house... I also started writing down chore lists for when we have someone come to help clean the house, so I can make sure they know just WHAT I will require of them. Thanks to my friends Stacy and Judie for arranging to have someone come to help with the housekeeping, LORD knows it is way overdue, and I am so embarrassed to have anyone come in with the condition things are in at this stage... but I cannot do much of anything on my own...
After Mike got home from his errands for the day (which btw, alignment could not be done due to further issues with the front end- more repairs must be done first ugh), he could see how much pain I was in and he opted to make dinner. Perfect option for a cold Michigan day; Tomato Soup w/ Basil and Grilled Cheese on Whole Grain bread. Really hit the spot too!
I did notice a couple times today that I had some inner ear ringing in my left ear while just sitting in the chair. Something to make note of... I did sit on the heating pad most all day (I know, should have alternated w/ heat and cold, but can't get up to do that!) At bedtime (midnight) I decided to remove the incline head pillow Mand used just my two bedpillows to lay on, with a small throw pillow for the small of my back. I moved the "pillow pet" I had been using under my knees to my feet as I opted not to wear the socks tonight. The pillow pet kept my feet warm, and helped to relieve a bit of the pressure from laying "flat". I did manage to fall asleep much easier this way, though my back was in severe pain and left leg was quite aggravated by the back pain tonight. I had hoped to soak in a Epsom salt bath, but never made it that far.
Day 7: I cannot believe it is officially one week since I began my treatment of Xeloda! Thus far, no scary side effects. Just severe back pain that may or may not be from actually attempting to do something productive around the house... After today, I will only be posting my blog on a weekly basis, to avoid over sharing and 'boring' people with my daily life...I will still be documenting daily, but will only post on the 14th, 21st, etc... day. Unless I get requests to post otherwise... ;)
For breakfast, after waking up just before 11 am, again I enjoyed a small bowl of Great Grains Cereal. (I enjoy a mix of the Great Grains Cranberry Almond Crunch and Great Grains Raisins, Dates & Pecans and often will add more dried fruits to the mix in my Tupperware Cereal Storer - the large one will hold almost 3 boxes of cereal!) often I will mix yogurt in with it and/or fresh berries if we have them. I took my "noon" meds; Cymbalta, Calcium + Vitamin D, Motrin 400 and one Hair, skin & nails multi vitamin; and then my 3 XELODA pills. Mike then ran me a nice hot bath with Epsom Salts and helped me into the shallow tub. OH I HATE OUR TUB! It is all of 12 inches deep. I soaked and stretched in the tub until the water got too cool to handle and managed to climb out by rolling over to my knees and pulling myself up. I am stubborn, otherwise I would have grabbed my cell that was next to the tub, and called Mike to come help me. I had my cane right next to the tub so that helped me get upright.
Mike and I discussed using some of the money that has been donated to us to obtain a membership to the local Recreation Center where they have a wonderful pool that is great for therapy for both of us to gain strength. My Niece that lives near us also has a membership as does another friend, and I could always go with one of them if Mike is not available to take me. We are so thankful for the donations that have come in, to enable us to fix our vehicle, pay off the credit card and our DTE bill for the month, and make sure we have gas to get us to our destinations for a change. We plan to make an appointment to meet with the Cemetery staff this month and begin the process of paying for the vault for our plot. I still need to verify some details with the hospital on their procedures for end of life donations for research. Such a daunting task to deal with, but a necessary one as I do not want my family to have to deal with this when the time comes. This will be my way to ensure my wishes are carried out in the end, whenever that may be.
Mike has now gone to run more errands, I sometimes envy his ability to go out whenever he wants, and not be unable to breathe, or move. I have one more medication to pick up at the pharmacy that was not ready when we was there yesterday, and he has some things to pick up from our storage at his Aunt's polebarn, etc... It looks like a nice sunny day outside, but I could tell when he opened the door, it is cold out there. I'll stay here where it's is warm. I did get him to dig out my walker for me to use today, as my left leg is "dragging" and I think it will provide me more stability while up and around. My Cane is handy, but only supports the weight on one side at a time when using it. Sadly, the walker is difficult to maneuver in our narrow home. The cane will hang on the edges of it along w/ my grabber tool. One more reason we need to move... it is just to congested in this house to accommodate my new needs with these devices that help me get around!. *see photo from today. I also spoke w/ the pharmacist from the hospital regarding my treatment. She indicated that my treatment is for 14 days on 7 days off and then see the doc at the end of those 21 days. I told her I was under impression it was a 21 day on 7 days off so she would have docs office call me so we can confirm. I do only have 7 days of pills left.
I did manage with the help of my grabber, to get out a couple pork chops and a can of Cream of Mushroom soup. I'm gonna try to make dinner tonight. I also got another load of laundry into the wash, using my grabber to pick up the clothes, and the walker to carry the basket... Wish I could have videoed that for you all to get a good laugh. I sure chuckled at the ingenuity.
So, dinner was a success. Mike helped by chopping up some xtra Portabella Mushrooms to add to the gravy, I pretty much just seasoned the chops and told him what to do with the rest, and he finished cooking, and served dinner. First real Meal in a good while. Evening meds followed. No wonder I'm not up for dessert lately, in all; 7 pills follow my dinner. That fills me up even more, not to mention all the water I must drink while on this oral chemo.
Another midnight bedtime, we watched tv and had popcorn just vegging in the living room and lost track of time. My back was still hurting when we retired for the night. I slept with Lidoderm patches on my back to help with the pain.
I managed to sleep WITHOUT the wedge last night and did not suffocate! :) This was so nice for me!! No coughing, no shortness of breath - such a relief! We woke around 1030-11 today as Mike had a phone call. My back was still very sore, but I was ok using just the cane this morning. Mike made bacon & eggs for breakfast, sure was a nice change from cereal.
I managed to tidy up the living room slightly while Mike was gone to help a friend with a project. I finished the last of the laundry and even managed to put away the things that needed to be hung in the closet, which I had not been able to do for a few weeks now with my breathing issues. It felt good.
I confirmed with the pharmacy and my doc's office that my present treatment will be 14 days of pills, 7 days off and I see my Oncologist on 1/21, and should begin the 2nd round on the 22nd. I notified the pharmacy to send the second round so I will have it here in time for that. Feeling somewhat accomplished today. Sad when that little bid of progress feels so good. Oh well.
Mike came home in time for dinner, but I had nothing planned. He made some mac & cheese and taco meat w/ chips. Like I've said, he's not the greatest cook, but he tries ;)
Once again, here it is midnight, and we're still out in the living room. I think we should head to bed...WE are hoping to head to the grocery store tomorrow. Should be interesting...praying my back/hip can handle the trip.
Slept again with out the wedge, but my left leg, lower back were causing much discomfort. Just trying to roll to reach my water-bottle was excruciating, and this was with Lidoderm patches on the spot... Mike woke me around 11, with a hot mug of coffee after he cleaned the kitchen. So nice to not have to worry about seeing that mess when I get up!!
I managed to make us both English Muffins w/ Cream cheese for breakfast since he did all that cleanup, and took my meds by Noonish. It started out as a Sunny 56 degree day, but there is Lake Effect Snow expected starting tonight through tomorrow, so we opted NOT to do our grocery shopping today as the stores will be a madhouse, and I'm still to sore to attempt going out & trying to move around.
Mike spent most of the day working on re-organizing his Toy Room, no when the grands come to visit, they will be able to sleep on the hide-a-bed instead of the sofa, or one on each if they both stay! Too bad they have plans tonight. Sure could use me some Bub and KK time!
Mike took steaks out last night for dinner tonight. He's catching on that things need to thaw overnight and not in 2 hours prior to dinner. Now that it's about 4:30, I guess it's time to determine what to have with them. It's nice enough outside that he will be grilling them...so I get to make the sides. My pain is not so bad since standing in the shower on massage for a good 20 minutes earlier.
So,dinner was awesome, followed of course by my many pills, including the Xeloda. Another late night / evening just watching our new tv, and chillaxing in the living room till midnight. I was happy to again be able to sleep without the incline/wedge but my lower back/leg are still not happy with me. Noting it is especially painful when I am either filled with gas, or am in need of a bowel movement. This tells me, whatever the problem is, has to do with my intestinal tract putting pressure on some nerves, but where?
It's MONDAY. We had intended to pick up our Grandson at 11 am to run some errands and pick up a dresser for his mom to turn into a bench/dresser for our grand daughter. We woke about 11 instead. Should have set an alarm...
Breakfast was English Muffins w/ cream cheese, Coffee, and of course, my pills. I had forgotten this was the day the Research Study was scheduled to call me at 11:30, so it worked out. Nearly 30+ minutes on the phone with this study answering questions, and we were finally on the road.
We got Brandon, picked up the dresser, delivered it to their house and went out together, to all 3 of us get haircuts. We got him home just as him mom returned home from work. She loves the dresser and the haircut ;)
It is very cold out today, the thermometer in the truck registering 14 degrees Fahrenheit as we are on our way home from dropping him off. We are expecting snow tonight into the morning, so no grocery shopping Tuesday for us. We got home around 4:30, so of course, Mike was wondering about dinner...I had zero appetite at that time so he made himself some cheese tacos. Around 7:30, I finally felt like eating, and made myself breakfast for dinner. I had frozen some Gluten Free Belgian Waffles I'd made so one of those, 2 eggs and 3 sausage links, with a tall glass of my fav Welch's juice. Of course; followed by my handful of pills including the Xeloda. Followed by lots of water throughout the evening.
Spent the evening working on the computer and watching tv, again. Can you guess what time we called it a night? Yep, seems that midnight is our new bedtime around here. Hey, we're retired, don't judge!
As usual, up by 11 ish, lower back & leg really bothering me, hard to roll out of bed to go to the bathroom. The tendon running the entire length of the left leg with all the nerves along the tendon are pulling against one another - like stretching a rubberband against it's grain... I do notice if I'm up and moving around for a bit, it is not as painful. Sadly; being winter and freezing outside, with blowing gusts up to 50 mph right now and ICE everywhere, I can't go outdoors to move around or walk, and I'll loose my mind if I am to have to pace the floors of our tiny home. The living room is 12' x 17', and filled with furnishings, and totes of craft supplies.
I looked into a membership at the local Recreation Center, and for a one year package for us both, it is upwards of $500.00 for a year. We simply cannot afford that, even if we paid monthly for the membership. :( Will be contacting Medicare to see if they might reimburse us for part of that if it is used as Physical Therapy prescribed by my doctor...
So... Breakfast today: WE each had a nice hot bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit in it with our coffee. Mike made sure to add the Miralax to my morning coffee today, and within 20 minutes of eating breakfast, the "floodgates opened" and, well; let's say I must've lost 3 or 4 lbs this morning... This provided much PAIN and caused me to feel somewhat nauseous at the time, but afterward, I had less pain & pressure on that tendon & the nerves in my leg. DURING, I wanted to just rip my leg off it was so painful. I also notice that after taking the Xeloda, my urine has a very strong odor, hard to describe; but as noticeable as when you ingest Asparagus. A Chemical odor though.
I've decided to take today to try to get some of my work done and dress and photograph the Bitty Baby Doll and clothes for the new store site. I'd finally managed to get the doll on loan from my grand daughter for this purpose...so I'd best get going before she wants her back. I've also requested that Mike cut my incline wedge to make it more of a slant than a bench backing... It is another cold nasty day, with three inches of fresh snow and about 20 degrees out, so I will stay INSIDE today.
DAY 13: Due to extreme pain in left lower back, hip and leg; I was unable to work on the computer on Day 13, posting on day 15 and my memory is not so clear as these past 2 days have been rough. I do recall that I spent the day in bed, in pain, and without much of an appetite. I had to remain in the laying down position as whenever I would allow myself to SIT, the pain was impossible to deal with. I was actually brought to tears today from the pain...something I have not experienced in a long time. At dinnertime, we opted to order out; Salad and Hoagies from Mr. Pizza. We split the hoagie (6 inches each) and a small Chef Salad. I remember being excited and taking a photo of my pill case after dinner and taking my "evening dose", that there was only one day left.
I switched sides of the bed this night. Taking the left side, which was closer to the bedroom and bathroom doors, and easier for me to get in/out of the bed having the left leg at the outside of the mattress.
The final day of round one taking the pills. As usual, woke around 11 am; however, Mike was up earlier so I was able to spread out on the bed and attempt to find a more comfortable position. I really did not want to get out of bed, but could not stand to waste another day away by doing so. We have not been to the grocery store all month due to my pain and treatment, so breakfast was getting difficult to determine today. I remembered a loaf of sourdough bread in the fridge (uncut-from the bakery) and Mike made some toast for me to go with my Miralax laden coffee.
I proceeded to message my Oncologist via the Web Patient Portal today after eating. I wanted to let them know about this pain issue, and find out if they had plans to obtain any scans as part of my 21 day followup appointment next week. I managed to remain in the recliner, with a pillow behind my lower back and legs extended and used the walker when needing to use the bathroom, as my left leg / hip were weak and painful when standing / sitting (the transition from one to the other). I managed to do some photo editing on my laptop in the 4 hour period I was in the living room today. At 4:30 pm, I received a call from one of my clinic nurses, following up on my portal message. We discussed my symptoms and issues, and she checked w/ the Doc and called me right back, advising me that they wanted me to go to the ER ASAP to have an MRI to rule out a Spinal Cord Compression; which happens when there are metastatic tumors or arthritic issues on the spine, such as I do have both of. Mike had JUST gone to work on a project with the neighbor, so I called him directly to inform him of this so he could return home and we could prepare to hit the road. Of course, this was now "RUSH HOUR" for traffic, so we did not look forward to that drive. It is about a 25 mile trip one way to the hospital via the expressway from our home. The majority of that on I-94 and US-23, never a fun place to be at rush hour any day of the week.
We arrived at the ER at approximately 6:10 pm. The parking lot and lobby were both FULL. As soon as I approached the registration desk, I put a mask on to help make sure NOT to pick up any of their potential bugs or viruses. That would be the LAST Thing I needed now! The chairs in the lobby were anything but comfortable to my bottom and back...I found a "loveseat" to sit side-saddle in, leaving my left leg on the seats, and right leg on the floor. This was the only way I could relieve the pain to tolerate the wait. We waited about an hour before we were called to a room, vitals taken and then the routine of the Student / Intern came in to take my "history" and "symptoms", to report to her supervisor. *Let me say, I'm all for a training hospital, but when in this much pain, WHY can't we skip this step and get right to the real doctor!!??* Each person I spoke with, I clarified that my Oncologist had called ahead, to make sure there was an MRI ordered in advance for me. I can appreciate that it was a busy night, there were scheduled MRI's taking place and emergent or post-operative MRI's as well, but to have to wait - knowing I had not had anything except a piece of toast and coffee to eat all day, and with dry mouth they would not allow me anything to eat or drink while waiting... Just in case we had to have emergency surgery. Poor Mike; he does not have the strongest of backs, and being over 6' tall the chairs provided for him are far from comfortable. I was finally taken back to MRI at 2 AM. The scan itself took roughly an hour or more. It was the most uncomfortable scan I'd ever experienced, my arms went numb half way through and I almost felt nauseated being so hungry and it was so hot in the tunnel from the machine running non stop that night.
The results came in around 4am. At least, the preliminary findings from the radiologist were brought to us at this time. NO Spinal Cord Compression. Bulging Discs at L-4 & L-5. Large Plural Effusion on Right Lung. All this was familiar to us from prior scans. We were released and on the road home by 4:35 am, still in pain, but allowed to eat and drink again since no surgery was required.
Since I was not allowed to eat that evening, I was unable to take my final dosage of the Xeloda, though I brought all of my meds with me just in case. We got home shortly after 5am. Tired, and hungry, I had a bowl of Cottage Cheese to allow me to head to bed directly following that, and slept until the phone rang at 10:30. Mike was scheduled to attend a Vintage Toy Show event this weekend, and his ride was calling to make sure he was still going. We decided yes, he should go, as it could mean income from his investments of toys. I went back to sleep until he left around 1pm. At that time, the ER Dr. called me to follow up and see how I was feeling. I advised him I had just woke up and still have the pain. He informed me he received the final review from the radiologist and the herniated disc at L1 and L2 may be part of the culprit, as well as the L4-L5 discs, and the fact that the tumor on the left Sacrum (bottom pelvic bone) was interfering with the nerve that passes by that region. THAT made sense. He advised I contact my Spine Specialist for followup and Pain Management to help with the pain issues. They do work together in our Supportive Care Clinic through the U of M Cancer Center, so calls were made, messages sent and all of that is being set up for me. I also called my Oncologist office to let them know what occurred, and determine if I should take that last dose or Xeloda or just skip it at this point. The answer there, do not take it now. It can throw off the timing of the doses I guess. :\
So, here it is now, 4pm on Day 15. I am home alone, relaxing and somewhat able to sit up and type this out, by propping my back and leg with pillows on the bed, which I have to myself for the night. Marcy Kat is sleeping in her bed which I have pulled up next to our bed. She was not happy that we had to leave her alone in the middle of the night that way, and has been noticeably worried about me lately. She has become much more affectionate and hug-able, where prior to me spending so much time in bed, she was more stand-offish.
The think I want to make clear, is that these pain issues though most likely related to the cancer itself, are NOT related to the Xeloda use itself from what can be determined at this time. My BLOODWORK labs were all normal. In fact, the doctor that reviewed them with me (Third shift of Attending Physicians for the night) remarked that this was the best lab result he had ever seen for anyone on any kind of Chemo. NO red marks what so ever (For those of you unfamiliar with blood work reports, RED marks are shown next to any result that is high or low and indicate with a ! and the percentages of the result, and if high or low.)
I am taking it easy, listening to the rain, watching the news on tv and hoping that my daughter and/or grandkids will be able to come by tonight to check in, maybe bring me some dinner (daughter is a diner waitress) and help to lift my spirits. I am intending on taking it easy, and not doing anything overly physical until my spine specialist reviews my scans, and does his physical exam. I will work on simple stretching and flexing exercises as I have learned from PT over the years, but will NOT be lifting anymore than a gallon of milk until further notice, and have my walker, cane, and grabber tool handy and have 3 water bottles on the nightstand to keep my hydration going for now.
Happy Middle of January folks! Six days until my Oncology Followup for round one of the Xeloda - Oral Chemotherapy treatment for my Stage 4 Breast Cancer - metastasis beyond the bone, to Liver and Lungs (and possibly left kidney).
*Note: In reviewing my scan results from December, I am wondering if the Left kidney might be part of the issues here.
The following is the wording from said CT report; and upon researching what some of this means, I can't help wonder if some of these issues, are just problems waiting to further escalate into larger issues:
Spleen, pancreas, adrenal glands and kidneys have a normal appearance.
There is an extrarenal pelvis involving the RIGHT kidney.
There are no abnormally enlarged abdominal lymph nodes present.
Gallbladder is fluid-filled and unremarkable.
Mildly dilated loop of small bowel in the LEFT upper quadrant is
probably just an area of peristalsis. The remainder of the small and
large bowel have normal caliber, showing no evidence for dilatation or
There are multiple nonenlarged lymph nodes in the root of the small
bowel mesentery, not enlarged by size criteria, but increased in number.