August 5, 2009

Just wanted to post a quick update before I head off to bed. It's about 10:30 pm on Wednesday night and Mike and I just returned home from our trip to CTCA in the Chicago area. We left yesterday morning around 7 am and got to CTCA by about 12:30 pm Central time with no problems. We grabbed a quick lunch in the cafeteria before we started all of my tests. I had to have my blood work drawn from my arm instead of my port. I have an allergy to tape and when they access my port, it is covered over with clear or paper tape. By the end of the day, my skin is usually bright red and itchy. For this reason, I can't have it accessed for more than a few hours. Since my treatment was scheduled for the following day, my blood work had to be drawn from my arm. The problem is, I have horrible veins left after all of these years. It took 4 tries and lots of bruises before they were able to get blood from my wrist. Thankfully, God blessed me with tough skin and I am not bothered my multiple needle pokes! It was time for my annual mammogram, so I made sure to have that scheduled. The radiologist was able to read it right away and compare it to my x ray from last year. The tech came back and told me that there were no problems and that it looked perfect. I had my CT scan at about 4:15 and that did not last long. From there I was supposed to have my bone scan but they were running about an hour behind. Mike and I finally finished our day at 7:00 and went back to the hotel.

We returned back to the hospital this morning at 9:30. We ate breakfast there and then headed up to see my doctor. It's always nice to have morning appointments, before they have time to run behind! I saw Dr. L at 10:30, right on time. He always asks me how my bones are, which I always reply with how good I feel, but that he should tell me how my bones are! After reading the reports from my scans, he said he wasn't sure. My CT scan showed no progression, while my bone scan showed some slight progression in the previous areas that they have been watching. I have multiple little spots in multiple areas. My CEA tumor marker went from 220 to 280. Because of this, Dr. L concluded that the area that they are watching in my femur may be what is growing. Because of this, he decided to switch the Chemo meds I am on. I had been taking Xeloda by pill form, Gemsar by IV, Herceptin by IV, and Zometa by IV. Now, I will continue to take the Xeloda by pill, Zometa by IV, and he added Tykerb which is another oral chemo that I take in pill form. I have to take 5 pills of Tykerb everyday along with my usual 6 pills of Xeloda for 14 days. The Zometa can be given either once a month or once every 3 months. After my appointment, my port was accessed and I went up to Infusion for my 20 minute dose of Zometa, then my port access was removed. That was the fastest visit I have had to infusion!! I am scheduled to see Dr. L again in 3 weeks and from there I may go 6 weeks between visits.

There are positive things with this switch. I don't have to travel as much for one. Also, this new chemo will not lower my blood counts (white and red cells) so I don't have to have weekly monitoring of my blood work. Hopefully, this medication works to bring down that CEA and allows my bones to start healing. I have always trusted God to work through the medicine, and I know that this change is from Him.

I will update more later, for now I am tired... Mike is already in bed!!

Good night and thank you for all of your prayers. Please continue to pray!!

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