Feeling better, getting worse

Things have gone more than a bit pear-shaped of late, on the cancer front at least. What were just small possible liver mets on a 22 Jan 2014 scan have rather taken off and are now causing my platelet count to drop, as well as my liver function. Last week I was switched from Letrozole to Aromasin (hormonal treatments) to try to reverse this, but the next day the oncologist that I saw called me and said I needed to go back into clinic this week and the discussion would be about chemo to get things under control.

I have not felt well for a while, very tired etc., but about 6 weeks ago I hit some sort of Perfect Storm. I had a chest infection, some kidney stones were trying to find their way out of my body (and did eventually) and even after a week on penicillin my breathing was not back to normal. I have had kidney stones for over 40 years, when I had major surgery at the age of 12 to remove some larger stones. Over the last few years this has caused some problems with my left kidney and is probably connected to my cancer treatment. Like all pharmaceutical treatments when one thing does you good, it can cause side effects that are not so good. I’m just a bit annoyed with myself that I didn’t recognise the chills and nausea as some of the worse symptoms of stones rolling. I feel much better now, but the bigger picture is not quite as rosy.

So instead of having time to allow the Aromasin to kick in, which could take a couple of months, I have to fast forward to a combo treatment of Paclitaxel and Herceptin. I prefer a more integrated approach, but time seems to be of the essence at the moment. A bit scary, but at least I know what I am facing now and the CT scan from last week, which included the head for the first time, at least showed that I have a brain with nothing in it (that shouldn’t be there of course). It did show up that the reason for my droopy left eye might be because of a bony met over the orbital lobe, but that is in the skull and not the brain.

Now I just want to get on with it all and I have started to look again at my diet, nutrition and supplements to see if there is something that I can do to help myself. My Acupuncturist is going to arrange some Traditional Chinese Herbs to help with coping with the chemo. I haven’t been taking care of myself for a while now and must learn to always put myself and my health first and not neglect my diet and nutrition. At least I have work, occupational pension and insurance plan sorted out and have been retired on ill-health grounds and can access a lump sum from the Insurance Plan on grounds of Permanent Disability.

I haven’t asked the prognosis, but the oncologist said that 50 – 66% respond to this treatment plan. The odds could be better, but then I am hoping this will all right itself as quickly as it has gone down the tube!


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