Thursday, December 10, 2009

What a day, what a day, what a day - Part 2

Woke up this morning only to discover that my hot water pipe was frozen, although I wasn't sure if it was the hot water heater or not. Had cold water running through it all day - then this afternoon, talked to NW Natural, someone from Judson's, someone from one Heating place and then Hendrix - finally got hold of a technician who asked me to check the pipes coming off the heater and found that one of them was warm. Okay, hot water heater is working. Someone else suggested that I run my dryer in the garage to warm it up. Had it going for awhile this afternoon and then when I returned from dinner at my folks' house. About 30 minutes later - I heard a sputter, then a gush from all my faucets - checked the water - Yay! It was hot.

Whew. Saved me from one expensive repair.

But then, my cell phone kept randomly turning off. Eddie dropped it in some water last January. After blow drying the innards for awhile, it worked fine for a few months, with only occasional glitches. But I started getting them a few times a day, soooo, I decided to replace the phone. This means a little more money out the door . . . I got the phone today. (I don't have a land line.)

Then, I saw my physician's assistant - she works for my oncologist. I've had tenderness around my right ribs (where I had radiation) and this morning, I felt as if I had an egg under my left arm pit from swollen lymph nodes. As I mentioned one of my numbers had inched up again. She decided to bring in Dr. K. The result? Dr. K said that we were not getting the result that he wanted from the Tykerb/Femara mix and so he will think hard about what to do to change up my treatment come January. One idea was to start on Gemzar with Herceptin (getting IV chemo once every two weeks); another is to maybe see if I can get neratinib (a new drug that is like Tykerb - you take it as a pill; however, I guess the major side effect almost everyone gets is diarrhea) or TMB-1 (I think that's what it was) which is a "smart" Herceptin - a drug that can find the cells that are overexpressing Her-2 and then go inside it and stop it from multiplying and growing - in other words, it would only affect cancer cells.

I may also have a new scan in January - to see what's going on in the left lung as well as to see if I have any new or spontaneous fractures in my right ribs since they've been more sore these past few days.

I also found out that our Radiation Center will be getting new technology there by the end of January - I saw two of my techs at the restaurant where I ate lunch today. It's called "stereostatic radiation surgery" and it's a method whereby they are imaging your lung (or other soft tissue) that's moving and direct radiation specifically to a site that has a tumor. This is crucial for lungs since they are constantly moving as you breathe. The techs said that maybe I can suggest to Dr. K to put my case before the local Tumor Board to see if maybe I'd be a candidate for this.

I was upset to hear I might have to have IV chemo. I was feeling pretty discombobulated all day today, because of the frozen pipes, this news, the new cell phone, and all that happened yesterday. But when I had dinner with my folks, they reminded me not to borrow trouble before it's here. So, I'll put away any thoughts of changing up my treatment until I see Dr. K in January. And, have a great Christmas.

And, when I got home, my pipes thawed. So, I'm feeling better and not quite so overwhelmed.

Still have a bit of an earache. Still taking the decongestant. Still need to grade two more papers and then I can submit my grades.

So, everyone, have a great Friday. Things can only improve from here, eh? : )


Cat, Jeremiah, Finn and baby limpet said...

Great attitude! Your folks are right you can't borrow trouble. We all "could" or "might" have a lot of things come up in January that aren't what we'd like but today we're we are safe and let's worry about January when January gets here. One day at a I sound like a self help brochure :) But the words are true. Today you are loved...admired...and appreciated. Go with that!

Dee said...

Thanks, all of you O-G's! I appreciate it.

Now, if I can only get to writing!

Liz Kreger said...

I agree with mom and dad. Good attitude.

Sorry to hear the Tykerb & Xeloda might not be effective. Sounds like you're following my treatment drug by drug. I was Gemzar and Herceptin combo for awhile. Never did the Neratinid, though. Never heard of it.

Glad things are settling down. Gotta figure when things go all the hell, there's only one direction to go from there and that's up.

Liz Kreger said...

Oh ... an IV treatments ain't so bad. Amazing what you get used to. If you have a hint that this might go on for awhile, you might want to think of a chest port. I looooooove mine. Saves hell on my veins.

Rena said...

Yes, a port or a PICC is a huge good idea--IF you decide on IV chemo. You keep the same line in, and they can use it for administering meds as well as blood draws. --C U soon! Love your positive attitude! Reen

Dee said...

But don't people have a lot of problems with ports? I've heard horror stories of infections and such. My veins suck, though, so I may have to do that. It's in your chest, right?

Rena said...

Yeah, infection is a potential problem. But, any invasive line has potential infection problems, including regular IV's. Port's are generally in the chest, PICC's are generally in the upper arm. I think port's are shorter term access?? I'll have to look it up.