I saw my doctor yesterday for the first time since my last chemotherapy treatment 4 weeks ago. As I discussed in my last blog with health updates, the platinum-based chemotherapy drug that I’ve been on has killed enough cancer to try to transition me to another maintenance drug. Hopefully this drug will keep the cancer from growing and have less severe side effects than chemo, offering me a higher quality of life. I say hopefully because every person responds differently to these medications so we really won’t know if it’s going to work for me or how severe the side effects will be until I try it.
Actually, I asked the oncology pharmacist (special cancer pharmacist) at my hospital how the intensity of the side effects may be compared to other drugs that I have been on during my time with Cancer. His answer was that he wasn’t sure because he had not had another patient on this drug. <facepalm> This is the kind of weird sh*t I’m on. His first patient at a major hospital in the Capitol city of the largest state by population in the United States. How I found myself here still mostly boggles my mind. Le sigh.
Even if it does work for some period of time, eventually it will fail but this could be weeks, months, or years. For this specific drug, those with the best results in studies had 2-3 years without their cancer growing. Keeping my fingers crossed I find myself in their company! I won’t mention what happened in the worst-case scenarios in that time – I think it’s fairly obvious what a “worst case outcome” is for a Cancer patient…
Yesterday, at my doctor’s visit I had blood drawn to check things like my liver function, kidney function, and blood cell counts which is an indicator of the strength of my immune system.
Good news: My kidney and liver function are normal.
Bad news: My blood cell counts are still very low. This means I can’t begin taking the new maintenance drug yet.
Good news: I’ve been on chemo for 6 months straight and it’s kind of a blessing to have some extra good days before taking a new drug that may or may not have severe side effects for me.
I have to repeat blood work next week and we will go from there.
Since it has been 4 weeks since my last treatment, I’m actually physically feeling pretty good. I woke up feeling more rested today than I have in months. It’s a bittersweet reminder of how life feels when you aren’t in constant Cancer treatment. Regardless, I’ll try to enjoy my brief reprieve from treatment and continue to focus on the beauty and positive that still exists in my life, like happy hour with girlfriends after a long day of doctor’s appointments and work 😊