I went to the oncologist on Monday to discuss the med(s) that’s been killing my bones and joints. I was all prepared to get my third and last Lupron injection. I understood this to be a necessary evil (evil because of the pain, not evil because it's a means to an end) because if my ovaries aren't entirely shut down from the Lupron, my taking the aromatase inhibitor Letrazol would be a waste of time and have zero effect on treating the cancer; if anything it can get worse. Well, apparently Sandy and I both misunderstood the doctor. What we thought would only be three injections (one a month) was more likely to be for THREE YEARS, at least til I’m 50. I'd take get an injection once a month for three months and THEN start the pills BUT CONTINUE THE INJECTIONS.
Seeing as I cannot tolerate the pain from the two injections I had (I still ache from an injection given to me three weeks ago), I opted out for a third and thereby opted out for the Letrazol. What does this mean? I have to go back on IV chemo (there are no more oral alternatives). It's likely I will be getting Gemzar. Gemzar is administered once a week for three weeks and then I'm off for one week. Rinse. Repeat. So it's back to the weekly blood draws one day and IV the next day. Typical side effects are flu-like symptoms the day of the treatment (achy, nauseas, fever), flush face day of or even three days later, and swollen feet and ankles. Chances of hair loss are minimal on this drug although it may thin.
Next step? I'm waiting for the authorization for another cat scan (chest only) next week. If the results are the same as last time (or better) I will immediately start the Gemzar.
I cannot say I was happy about this. I've accepted a lot thus far and I think I've been dealing with it well, but somehow this felt like a step back. I cried. A little. I wasn't angry, but I was really disappointed. Deflated. I thought I'd have the easy task of taking a pill once a day. But if I don't have the strength to open a bottle of water, which is now the case, that's an issue. My treatment is all about maintaining a good quality of life and in order to do this, I have to weigh my options. This definitely reinforced that my fighting this cancer will be a lifelong endeavor until someone comes up with a cure. But just the fact that I can tips the scale in my favor and I must remember that.
In the immortal words of Mick Jagger....
You can't always get what you want....
Th-th-that's all folks....
The Boob Blogger