Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Liver Scan Results

I arrived at my radiotherapy appointment, to be told my onc wanted to see me first. So I knew something was up.

Half an hour in the onc's office, and I now know there's 'disease progression' in my liver.
A 3cm tumour, and a cluster of smaller tumours, in a different area to before, which isn;t the greatest news ever.

My onc's already spoken to the Dr running the Tykerb/lapatinib trial at Nottingham, who's going to send for me, for scans, hopefully before christmas.
If I'm accepted onto the trial, it'll start just after christmas. From the sounds of it, it's a randomised trial, so I may or may not get lapatinib. But I will get capecitabine, regardless.
My onc said ideally, he'd have started me on capecitabine, the week after I finish rads, but that would make me ineligible for the trial. But he also strongly feels I should have Tykerb, and waiting a few more weeks shouldn't make much difference.

I have to come off the steroids before I can be considered for the Tykerb trial. I'm only on 2mg per day at the minute, and I'll be 'weaning' myself off them, over the next 10 days. 2mg for the next 2 days.. 1mg for 4 days, and 0.5mg for 4 days.. then stop.
If I start getting headaches, or other side-effects, I have to start taking them again.

Then we had the "There's only so many more things we can try" talk. And that there comes a time when treatment will have to end. Which I obviously knew. But hearing it come out of my doctors mouth makes it seem more 'real', somehow.
But he also stressed that capecitabine had wildy varying results, with different people.. from not working at all, to keeping mets under control for a few years.

Again, I'm SO glad I changed oncs.
It's taken just two days to get liver scan results. And in that time, my onc's done all he can to get me the treatment he feels I need, at another hospital.
Unfortunately, that would probably mean that my main care would be overseen by a different onc (Dr Steve Chan), at Nottingham hospital. But my onc also said I (or my family) can phone him anytime, if I needed anything at all, or if I wasn't happy with anything. And I can go back under his care whenever I want.

I'm feeling an odd mix of emotions at the minute.
On one hand, I'm feeling very deflated and quite hopeless.. Because of the scan results.. Because I have to wait and see if I can get Tykerb.. Because I just have to wait, and I want to get on with things asap.
But 'glad' (if that's the right word) my onc's being so proactive, and that he really does seem to care.
He almost made me cry today, saying he doesn't care who I want to treat me.. he'll refer me anywhere. He just cares about me, and that I'm getting the right treatment.

He said out of all the people, he wouldn't have expected it to be me sitting there, at 31 years old, in the situation I'm in.
And he onc genuinley looked sad. Like a friend would, rather than a doctor.

Mostly, to be honest, I'm feeling deflated now.
My head's feeling more fuzzy, which is probably a mix of radiotherapy effects, and everything else that's whizzing around in there.


Anonymous said...

Oh Dee, no wonder your head is feeling fuzzy. I am so glad for you that you found an oncologist who seems to treat you like a person he cares about. I am glad that they are doing what they can to get you on the trial - it does sound worth it.

I am thinking of you and sending hugs your way.

Anonymous said...


Sepha said...

Hi Dee,
Nice to 'meet' you - in as far as it's ever nice to have to make connections with people because of cancer....
You sound like you're having a hell of a time - I started Capecitebine in September and it's working for me. Bone and lung mets currently dormant. I hope you get on your trial and that it works out for you.
Just keep plodding on really....

Kathy said...

Dear Dee,

how very selfish of that god fearing person to try to impose their faith/beliefs upon you; may their god forgive them!

You're in my thoughts always,hang in there.

Kathy (ex CHF)