Oncologist appointment today; trying a couple new drugs

Friday, June 12, 2015

Well, today was the day of the oncologist appointment I've been somewhat anxious about. But overall, I did a better job handling the anxiety this time around than I have for past scans. Last night, I even had a pretty good night of sleep! Those are pretty rare these days, and I am glad that the worries about what my doctor might say did not keep me awake. The nerves did not really get too bad until after I was up and awake this morning.

His thoughts on my scans were not very different from my impressions when I got my written reports about 2 1/2 weeks ago. The cancer has spread more in the bones; some in the spine but mostly in the ribs. It has also spread more in the liver; my liver is now 30% cancer. So far though, the cancer in the liver has not affected the liver enzymes, so that is some good news. He also said that when people donate livers, they can live without 25% of their liver, so I still have a lot of "good" liver left yet.

There is a new drug he wants to try; he told me the name of it, but now I can't remember what it was- only that it begins with an "A". Since it's a new drug, it has to be ordered by a specialty pharmacy, so I will have to wait til the pharmacy contacts me before it can be ordered and delivered to me (it is an oral treatment.) It is not chemo, it's a hormonal drug. I have to take it along with another hormonal drug called Femera.

One thing we will really have to watch with the new drug is my white blood counts; he said that this new drug can make them go down lower and that I don't have a lot of "wiggle room" when it comes to mine. He said in that case, he'll try keeping me on the drug, but at a lower dose.

He can't say whether or not the Halotestin injections are slowing down the cancer or not, but he is keeping me on those because it is helping with the blood counts.

I was able to pick up the Femera at Rite Aid today, since that one is not a specialty drug, and I'm also taking the generic form of it. He said it didn't matter what time of the day I took it, but that I need to take it around the same time every day. One of the possible side effects is dizziness, maybe sleepiness, so I think I will try taking it in the evening; if it does make me tired, maybe it will help with my sleep. I think it's actually good I'm not starting both drugs at the same time; that way, if there is a bad side effect, I'll know which drug is causing it.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JUDITH316
    Dearest Shari, I want you to know I have been praying and will continue, I read your post on our Team page and responded there but wanted you to know I was praying for you and trusting this new med will help and work for you with either minimal or best plan no side affects at all...I continue to believe for a miracle for you. You are a rich blessing, such an inspiration to me and to us all here on Spark. You Shine for Jesus and let your Faith Shine and touch many lives, I thank God for you and am grateful that we are Friend's....God Bless... emoticon
    1880 days ago
    Getting sleepy at bedtime would be a good side effect, you're right! I hope they both work out for you. emoticon
    1884 days ago
    Dear Shari,
    I understand your anxiety before the appointment and am glad you were okay and had a good sleep. That always helps one to deal with things better. It's good to hear your liver enzymes are okay, and I pray this will continue - also for the new treatments to go well for you,without affecting your WBC and hopefully with minimal if not no side effects. Sending lots of warm wishes and hugs your way,

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1885 days ago
    Thanks for the blog on how your visit went with your MO. That's really interesting that even with 30% of the liver being cancer that your liver enzymes still are normal.

    I hope your new medication doesn't drop your WBC too much and that any other SE's aren't too difficult.

    I hope you are having a good weekend.

    1885 days ago
  • JANET552
    I hope adding the new drugs goes well. I think you are smart to take the one you have already at night and I agree that starting the two drugs at different times is a good idea.

    Hope your weekend goes well!
    1885 days ago
    1886 days ago
    Hi Shari. So glad your oncologist is looking after you.
    good luck with the new treatment. Thinking of you and
    praying for your wellness. Taking the new one at night
    might just help you go to sleep. emoticon
    1886 days ago
    My continued prayers my friend! May God bless you!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1886 days ago
    It's good to hear that you were able to keep some of your anxiety at bay, and that you slept relatively well before your appointment.

    I'm glad that the oncologist has found two more drugs for you and hope they help.

    Since my course on mindfulness I have started using a phone app called Calm. It'a free app and is meditations. If you can get it on your phone you might want to check it out. It seems to be working for me. It also has 4 different scenes such as falling rain, the seashore, clouds, and a mountain lake.

    I'm hoping you have a good weekend! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1886 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/12/2015 8:04:52 PM
    I hope everything goes well for you with the new drugs. emoticon
    1886 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    I agree with you about taking that new drug at night.. Just in case the dizziness could carry over into your sleeping time, make sure to have a walker, cane, or whatever to balance yourself during the night.. Nothing wrong with being prepared..I did that when I started a new med.. I kept my Dad;s walker near my bed just in case...
    1886 days ago
    emoticon Hi,
    Hugs for your evening.
    I hope the new hormonal medicine helps you also.
    God bless your evening and weekend.
    1886 days ago
    I see you are still staying strong and positive,which is great,Shari.You have
    lots of people keeping you in there thoughts and prayers as well,which is
    another great thing.You are so special to each and everyone us.Prayers,
    hugs and blessings! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1886 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10895053
    I couldn't help but see the title of your blog and then had to come and read it. I'm always so sorry for people who have cancer. I'm wishing you the very best with your journey and with trying new drugs. I know all about getting drugs from a specialty pharmacy because of having to have an injection med. for my Rheumatoid Arthritis. They get delivered to my house too. So hang in there and I hope that you'll be feeling better by your next blog! I have to tell you too, that your page is so beautiful. So feminine and the colors blend so perfectly! emoticon
    1886 days ago
    Glad there are some new options for you. You have to be the strongest woman I "know". What an inspiration for all of us!! Keeping you in my prayers and sending good thoughts!
    1886 days ago
    You amaze me. You should have your doctor's degree by now. I am learning so much thru your willingness to share. The new med sounds intriguing--hope it does not impact your white blood count.

    Hope you have a good weekend, emoticon

    emoticon emoticon

    1886 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Well, it is wonderful the attitude you have and that there are still things and medications that keep coming out. I will never lose hope in this nor stop praying. God Bess!

    1886 days ago
    So glad this appt finally came and without any big surprises!
    I am glad you have two new meds to try and hope they will be beneficial!
    You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers!
    Have a peaceful weekend!
    How are your new plants doing? emoticon emoticon
    Love & Hugs,
    1886 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4212235
    Hope that you don't have any adverse reactions to either med and that it will help you sleep. I am glad you slept well last night and didn't get too anxious.

    Praying that the numbers stay good and no problems with your blood counts.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

    emoticon emoticon
    1886 days ago
    1886 days ago
    It seems your docs have provided good care for you and I hope this new regimen works well. You are in my prayers and sending positive energy your way.
    1886 days ago
    Hi Shari, Glad you were able to be less anxious and the news wasn't too bad about your liver. I will continue to pray that the meds will help and that your pain not become worse over time. emoticon
    1886 days ago
    Best of luck with the new med's Shari.Good news that your liver enzymes are not affected,and that you will still receive the Halotestin injections as they may be helpful
    with the CBC count.
    Sending you warm thoughts and prayers. emoticon emoticon
    emoticon Marianne.

    1886 days ago
    Shari, I know you talk about your anxiety before your scans & blood work. I am so glad you were able to get some rest last night.
    I continue to pray for you to have less pain & anxiety. I will never stop praying for your miracle.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1886 days ago
    Doesn't sound too bad.....Can only pray these drugs won't make you nauseous.....
    Hugs......((())) I think I told you, DH has recently been diagnosed with tongue and throat lymph node cancer so we are just starting this journey. We got a bit of a reprieve so am using the time to learn the feeding tube system (not easy)and to get a few papers in order. The oncologist called this morning and is going to use his "best" drug in a reduced prescription....instead of all every third week, he is going to break it down and do it every week for 7 weeks....blood tests every week to check progress. I'll pray for both of us.........:)
    1886 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5707126
    emoticon and emoticon for good results and few or no side effects of the new emoticon
    1886 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    1886 days ago
    Hoping and praying that these drugs are tolerated and do well for you! emoticon
    1886 days ago
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