Its hard sometimes to know if Kathleen is making progress or slipping back. There are of course days like last Monday when she found those lumps, and last Friday where the Dr. used the phrase “game changer”…. Then there are days like yesterday and today where she started to feel a little better as the chemo effects wore off and, even better, the lymph nodes shrunk a bit. Although still evident, they are definitely smaller. There is way less pain for her and we can qualitatively see the difference in size. We met with the radiation oncologist yesterday and “Team Pain” today. Both seemed to think the shrinkage was due to the chemo and not the steroids… That would seem to be steps forward. Today’s technology will never kill them off, but if they can be kept in check… Well, its something to hope for…. But, there is a but. Of course there is always a but. She might not be tolerating the FOLFOX. One of her side effects over the weekend was a lot of chest pain, which could be indicative of stress on her heart…. Or not. So in round two, when the chest pain comes back, we will have to go for an EKG to make sure its not a cardiac issue and just some strange side effect. So, we are kind of like the Flintstones Dance Step. X steps forward, Y back. (Thanks Keith for finding and thinking of the pic!)
Are we moving forward ? Sidesways ? Backwards ? Too early to tell really. We also heard today that the hospital has the paperwork underway to secure funding for Kath’s Avastin. This is sort of news to us as our Chemo Dr. mentioned we might add it later in October depending on how the FOLFOX goes. Not sure if he assumes the reactions have been too much for her, or with the distant metastatic spread he wants to add it sooner rather than later.
So still a very frightening future, but she has a bit of a chance to catch her breath before next week. Plus with some more tools to deal with the side effects (eg. insulin pen), we are a little more optimistic about weathering through round two.