Last week was a bit of a blur of the flu, Doctors appointments, lab tests, cat scans all culminating in a check in with the Oncologist.
I'm so used to going to my meeting with Dr. R and leaving with mixed emotions.
Usually there is good and less good information given. This time however it feels like it was good and better news. Not quite the better and better that Avnish pushes for, but certainly feels pretty good.
There were a few things that were mentioned that could have been omitted that would have made it better and better - things like a 3mm increase in the lesion on the pancreas, an elevated creatine level and an increased lipase reading. For edification the creatine is related to the kidney, the lipase to the pancreas.
Dr R isn't concerned with the 3mm as it could simply be a reading issue related to how I was lying on the table for the cat scan, the creatine level could be due to the flu I had the week prior to my blood tests. Actually I should probably tell you that after I had the flu I was actually in a lot of pain due to constipation. Seems after two days of emptying my body and soul it seems my system wanted to put up a bit of a fight and hoard for a while. As a result I ended up calling my awesome neighbour, an emerg doctor, and he came over to check me out. The location of my pain was near my pancreas but he wasn't overly concerned and just suggested a follow up the next day with my family doc. That meeting resulted in the inclusion of a lipase test and a wait to see what the cat scan would show.
Ok, back to the meeting. All results are good, and way better than I was thinking after the previous seven days of pain and doctor visits. My mind was allowing itself to wonder if this was the scan that was going to show a bad result. My mind had gotten to the point that I was expecting bad news and in retrospect I was steeling myself for this vs maintaining my positive position and being ready to hear news of continued stability.
As it turns out it was not a negative meeting at all. Odd that I allowed paranoia to enter my mind. Will need to figure that one out in a blog someday.
No new lesions, no new growth on existing tumours, and the best news of all - I get to reduce the amount of Sutent I am going to take. For the next six weeks we are going to try reducing the intake by 30%. Seems I have exceptional side effects and may be a good thing as they indicate that the drugs are doing their job. But in my case maybe better than I need.
My greatest hope is that the reduction will be way more accommodating to my system and that the side effects are less pronounced.
I am going to have to do a 24 hour urine collection to determine my protein levels, but will save a description of that for another time as I get the sense carrying around a 2 litre jug of urine for a day will be full of comedy. Stand by for that one...
>>>>>>>for those that like lots of detail see below>>>>>>>>>>>>
Oh, and if you are dealing with the same thing you will know these side effects, but for those that are on the outside looking in, and you have a ridiculous sense of curiousity here is a list of the common effects. I'm not including the serious ones, they are too scary.