Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Some Good News

Went to the oncologist today. My CA125 (cancer marker) has gone down from 139 on 5/27 to 54 on 6/23! Normal is 35 or less. Which means my new chemo (folfox every other week) is working (hopefully!)

As some of you recall, I have developed an allergy to that chemo and had to stop it last week after only 30'. My doctor said there are precautions I could take and we could continue with it. There are premeds (steroids and adarax, which is like Benedryl, that I am allergic too also) they could give me and they could administer it over a longer period of time (6 hours) and keep an eye on me.

She suggested another option of continuing my program without the oxcilliplatin. That would mean Avastin and 5FU (the chemo in the pump), which are synergistic, every other week and then monitoring it to see if my CA125 continues to drop. If this doesn't work out, we could add the oxcillaplatin back in.

Another option she presented was switchinig from the 5FU in IV form, to pill form, which is Zalota. I would take it twice a day for 14 days and then have a week off. I would do the Avastin through my port once every 3 weeks. Which would be nice, but the side effects kind of scared me. There usually is no hair loss, but then the diarreah is usually worse than the IV form and there is a risk of mouth sores and the hand/feet syndrome (redness and peeling of your hands and feet). I already know what to expect from the 5FU and I've tolerated it this long. And besides, I would have to go in and infuse with the avastin anyways, so I could easily be hooked up to the stupid pump ("Fillup") while I'm there. I can handle it for 3 days. And without the oxcilliplatin, I won't be as fatigued or nauseous and I won't have that darn cold trigger (can't eat/drink/touch anything cold). Also, it won't make my naropathy (numbness in hands/feet) worse.

The doctor wants me to do a CT scan to get a new baseline so they can track whether the new program/plan of only 5FU and avastin is working. They will call and schedule that asap.

I will go ahead and do my chemo on Monday 7/7, but it will be only 5FU and avastin and not the oxcilliplatin. Good news is that I won't need the usual premeds (steroids), which means I'll hopefully start dropping some of the weight I have gained.

I feel good about this plan. I needed a break from the oxcilliplatin and this will allow my naropathy to hopefully get better and not worse. It won't be so devastating every other week because the side effects will be so much less. That oxcilliplatin is very aggressive and nasty. I also feel good about the CA125 going down as much as it has.

Here is my CA125 history lately:
6/23/08: 54
5/27/08: 139
5/5/08: 143
4/7/08: 134
4/3/08: 112
3/17/08: 127

Normal is 35 or less. So I'm getting closer!

She also mentioned that there is another drug that is geared toward colon/GI cancer that we could try if the other options don't work out. I don't remember the name exactly, but it was something like arytna.....?????

I also asked about being eligible for clinical trials, and since my cancer is of unknown origin/primary, I don't really fit any profiles for those. I don't meet any criteria. Which is unfortunate. My cancer is just sneaky and tricky and doesn't get wrapped up neatly in a pretty box.

I have to thank Paris for accompanying me today to my appointment and taking such good notes. It helped to make my blog post more accurate! Thank you for the support Paris! I love ya!!!!

I also have to thank my daughter, Kaelin, who I dragged around today to first my support group adn then my appointment. She was so patient.

I also have to do a mommy brag...while at my support group, I gave my kids $20 to go to the cafeteria and get some lunch/snacks. They sat in the lobby and played Gameboy while I was in a conference room from 11-12:30pm. After the support group, I went through the line at the cafeteria to get some lunch myself. The ladies behind the counter said to me "are those your kids?" I said, "yes." She then said that her and the other ladies were so impressed with their lunch choices, that they are such good eaters! They got a house salad, a veggie tray, hardboiled eggs and they split a snickerdoodle cookie for lunch! And they did that all on their own! I was so proud!! I felt like I have done something right! :)

I was kind of scared to go to this appointment today. Nervous of what the next plan would entail. I was expecting the worse and I got better news than expected and a plan that I think is doable for me. Something less strenuous. Something lighter for the summer. I'll take it. So I'm feeling good about things right now. I hope my CT scan follows along the same lines. Wish me luck with that. Cross your fingers/eyes/legs/and heart!!!



Paris said...

I'm just a happy camper right now!! Just made my day/week/month/year to hear that number! Alleluia!! Totally rocks! I'm so glad that I could be there to hear the good news. It was great to see the place where you have to spend so much time, and to meet your doc. I feel really good about the treatment ahead! I just know that it will work out great! Really psyched about getting you out walking again!! I'm really over the moon right now!! I hope you guys can go out and celebrate tonight... you all deserve it!! It was fun to have K along. She is one cool kid :) Love the story about the food choices... you are such a good momma :) Love ya, p

Anonymous said...

That is great news! We're really glad to hear you had a good appointment. Also, have you read "The Shack" by William Young...I think you'd like it.

Rosalyn said...

This is really really good news! I am so happy for you. And it sounds like you have wonderful doctors who care about you and are taking such good care of you. I loved the part about the kids' food choices. You do LOTS of things right, mom!

Nightscrapper said...

Yeah!! I love reading the good news. Keep up with what you are doing. Keep fighting the fight!!

JO said...

Yippee! I had a good feeling about your appointment with Lycette. It sounds like a wonderful plan. So glad that your CA125 was down. I am sure the CAT scan will also be good.

Your kids are the best but then then they have the best Mom!

I hated missing the meeting today but Tori and I had fun.

Have a great 4th. I hope you all have tons of fun.

Hope to see you next week.

Love ya, JO

Anonymous said...

Hi Shauna, I was thrilled when Paris told me your numbers. Also thrilled when she told me it was your two year're doing great! I keep you in my prayers and always check your blog and keep posted through Paris. We all love you! Bev

Angie said...

Fantastic news Shauna! I'm so happy for you. What a way to celebrate this weekend.

Murray said...

you might wabt to check out tests for CUP Cancer of Unknown Primary.
My wife had it done by
and it was helpful.

Lisa said...

Congratulations on your test results! It must be so much easier to breathe right now. I am very happy for you!!!

Let's get together soon. :)

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
laura said...

oh shauna - that CA number is such great news! i am grinning from ear to ear for you! :)