Hey guys, I realize it’s been a while since I just updated on my health in general and the things that are going on in that realm, so that’s what today’s post is. Sometimes I just get way too into waxing poetic and forget to actually give updates. Sorry!
So basically there isn’t anything too terribly new if you know me. I have no idea what my last blog health update said, so if you don’t know me, maybe this is new info! I saw my oncologist last Tuesday and he is quite concerned about the pain in my lower back/spine. We know there is cancer in my hip bone, so we need to rule out that it’s the cancer spreading before we can treat the pain. So I will go this Friday for a spine MRI (because of the pain) and full body PET scan (routine).
There are a couple of options here. I am still going every 3 weeks for the infusion of the mk-3475, or PD-1 (anti PD-1?…I don’t know…) but anyway it’s my chemo drug. This drug is still not approved by the FDA so I’m in a clinical trial for it, technically. It’s so new that they actually don’t know anything about it, seemingly. So every time I go in, my doctor asks 100 questions and types all the answers into his computer. If I ask, “is that normal?”, I’m typically met with a “we don’t really know.” And that’s fair. The drug is really new! But still a little unnerving, if you ask me.
One side effect they are sure is a possibility is arthritis-like pain in your joints. Of course, my pain would be right where we know there is cancer close by! Lol, oh life! So I’ve been in near-constant back pain for a few weeks now (although the last two days have been admittedly better!) so I’ll get these tests to confirm what’s going on. If it’s arthritis from the chemo (that’s the better option of the two), he would consider skipping my next dose of chemo and getting steroids for a few weeks, before starting up infusions again about 6 weeks later. If it is cancer in the bone, I’m not sure if they would do radiation to the area (I think that’s a possibility…) but it would probably at that point just be a matter of getting stronger pain meds and trying to stay comfortable and functional for as long as possible. Right now I’m taking 1800-2000mg of ibuprofen a day and 3000mg of tylenol a day. It helps to some degree, but not quite enough to feel comfortable. I’ve also, with my doctor’s approval, been taking a percocet at night to help me sleep. It’s not pain that keeps me from sleeping, it’s anxiety unfortunately. I’ll probably suck it up here soon and start taking them during the day too at my doctor’s recommendation, but we shall see.
So, basically, I’m in a lot of pain most of the time, and I sometimes have pain/pressure in my chest due to the lymph nodes that have cancer in them, but that’s expected I suppose.
Oh, I almost forgot, here’s a fun convo between me and my oncologist:
Me: I’m concerned about my weight gain. Could it be the drug? Could it be something else?
Him: I’m not at all concerned about weight gain. I’m actually quite proud of my chubby patients!
Lol! He’s super nice and knew I was only teasing when I acted offended and he then backpedaled adequately, but still…