Thursday, February 19, 2009

insert sound of balloon popping

Sorry, gang, but post #101 isn't going to be bubbling with joy.

I got through that CT scan on Friday the 13th despite the completely humor-challenged radiology tech who administered the procedure. I'm still sporting a bruise from her IV ministrations, but it doesn't hurt. 'Got home from Towson just in time too... :whew:

The report went to Dr. Perry with the Cyberknife raditaion team who took it, along with my entire case history, back to his gastro disease board for a second, more detailed look. Unfortunately, they feel there are just too many spots still showing to make Cyberknife a good recommendation. even though they're not glowing on the PET scan from last month, they feel chemo is the better approach. If things are squashed more in the future, Cyberknife might be a good choice.

This wasn't what I wanted to hear though I fully understood it was possible, if not the more probable outcome. Still looking for the silver lining though, it also means the diseased areas are too small for surgery. That clicks with what Dr. Grasso said he observed through the laproscope waaaaay back in November of 2007. Nonetheless, I spent the majority of my afternoon in tears and generally depressed. I manned up and called Dr. Lee's office to advance my followup with her from the 3rd to tomorrow, the 20th. There is now no reason to be postponing chemo and I want/need to get it over with sooner rather than later.

By my reckoning, another twelve weeks sees me finishing in early to mid May. I absolutely HATE realizing that means another truncated summer of track days not to mention a hit to my disability income. It will have been a year now at the end of this month.

What I hate most though is the absolute dread I feel toward dropping those Xeloda pills AGAIN. They just drag me down so badly. I don't want to stop working, especially now that it looks like I'm going to get a good teammate to work with. But I know the pills are going to drain me, upset my stomach, interrupt my already fragile bowels, and generally make Life miserable. I don't know what to do. :'(


Lynn said...

Sorry you have to do chemo again, John. I know how difficult it has been for you to go through! I know I always say this when I comment here but I'm gonna say it again: HANG IN THERE!

Ryan said...

Hi John. I've never met you, but my wife met your wife at some knitting thing. I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma 3 years ago and was just diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer. (and I'm only 25!) I start chemotherapy for that on Monday.

I know that everyone responds differently and even though I've been through chemo/radiation before, I and no one else can truly know how it affects you. I'm sorry to here the Xeloda doesn't get along with you.

In any case, I feel for you with the fragile bowels and all the time off of work. It's been hard for me the last couple of months and I'm still not quite right. I do want to offer some words of encouragement though. It's no fun what you have to go through, but unfortunately we weren't given any choice in the matter! Stick with it and stay strong and just keep looking at the goal at the end of the tunnel. It will all have been worth it when you get there. I know I've been through it once before and I was a stronger person for it all when it was all over.

You have a lot of posts and I won't even try to pretend I've read more than about the first 20 you wrote. Have you thought about trying one of the IV therapies like FOLFIRI for FOLFOX or just longterm 5-FU from a pump? Perhaps you will respond better to that than the pill form of 5-FU (Xeloda). I personally am starting with FOLFIRI+Avastin.

Good luck and try to stay positive in light of everything you're forced to go through!