Monday I had an appointment with Dr L. I have appointments with him every 4-weeks to check how I’m doing which also includes a review of my EKG’s (that happen every two weeks) and my blood work (that happens once every four weeks).
We went through in detail the PET images, comparing the images taken in November to those taken in August. It is pretty easy to see that the hyper-activity, the bright spots, are smaller than before. In fact I could not even see a bright spot in the adrenal but the radiologist is only willing to say it is smaller than before.
So, what does this all mean? That I’m going to live for exactly 87 more days! No. It does not mean that.
What this means is right now my caner is not growing. One day it will grow again. But before that happens I could die of old age. No one knows. However, it is a fact that I will die with cancer.
As far as my medication goes I will be on Crizotinib for life- unless a cure for my cancer is discovered. I’m happy about this because truthfully, if my doc told me to stop taking it I’d freak out. I like knowing that I take a pill in the morning and at night that prevents my cancer from growing. If/when my cancer mutates against this drug I’ll be sad and very ready to move on to the next drug that will help me put up a fair fight against this big ugly bully.
Dr L does not support this but I am exploring the option to stop taking my “not really side effects” side effects drugs to see if they are going away too. I don’t like the idea of taking several pills a day but if that is what it takes for me to live comfortably so be it. I used to think it was tough to not take pills- I could “handle” the pain or discomfort. Really, that’s a dumb philosophy. (I can say that because I’m calling my old self dumb.) When your body is sending pain messages to your brain it is too busy spending energy sending messages therefore unable to spend energy on healing the actual problem. So, take pain pills or do what ever makes you feel better, it will reduce the amount of downtime you actually have.
The big problem with not taking my side effect management drugs is that once they start it is hard to get them under control again. Who knows what I’ll decide.
Why am I considering this you ask? It’s because most of my pills are sedatives. Drinking alcohol while taking sedatives is hard on your body. Not that I want to drink a ton but now that I can have a porter again it’s about all I want to drink. So… doc says I could handle about 4 drinks a week with my current regiment and not over load my body. Well. I might save them all up for one night. Since June 1st I can count the number of adult drinks I’ve had on my two hands. It might be nice to drink heavy one night…I’m sure it would lead to a belly laugh and a good cry. Might be just what this body of mine needs!
My next PET scan will take place in approximately 3 months to measure how effective the drugs continue to work. I’m going to have to make sure the test is AFTER my big 35th birthday.