Oct 16, 2010 - 6:32 pm
I said I would be back to post my husband's progress with this new chemo drug. So far, he remains the only patient at our medical facility who is on this drug. A second, much older gentleman might be starting it in a few weeks.
I can tell you that so far, after three rounds, the side effects appear to be quite minimal. The first round my husband had a few "bad days" about five to seven days later. The second round, he had no "bad days". He just had the third round yesterday. Too early to tell on that one. The biggest side effect he has is the change in taste of course. He has to search the kitchen and pantry to find something that sounds good. He goes for things that are salty, and a little on the spicy side.
I can also tell you, that starting the week of the 4th, for the first time in several months, he was able to ease up on his pain meds. By Thursday of that week, he was not taking any more pain meds. He is now, totally pain free. When we saw the oncologist this past Thursday for his regular pre chemo visit, it was the first time we could report to him no pain at all. He has ordered a CT scan for the 1st of November, and we will return to see him on the 4th. We are hoping that this scan will show the tumors on his adrenal glands and in his right lung have begun to shrink. This is the assumption of the doctor, because the pain has gone. We think he is right.
Our oncologist is a realist. He has never given us false hope, quite the contrary. He has always been there to make sure we stay grounded, and understand that chemo of any kind is not a cure, but pain management and tumor management. He did, however, make a very interesting comment this visit. He said that with the quick response my husband's pain has had with this chemo, that he thinks it would be possible that this chemo could possibly kill some of the cancer cells in my husband's bones. This has never even been on our radar. We were always thrilled that it did not spread, we never hoped for some actual progress in his bones.
The CT scan will tell it all of course, but I wanted you all to know that the new chemo drug cabazitaxel, commonly known as Jevtana, is indeed, so far, all it was touted to be during and after the clinical trials. We have the most hope we have had in over a year, and I cannot tell you what it has done for us to know that my husband is no longer in pain.
We continue with the nutrition regimen, and of course, our common sense always tells us whether or not he should be doing something. He still has cancer in his entire lymph system, but that has been kept in check nicely. He still gets his dose of Aredia every fourth chemo, and remains on Prednisone and Lupron Depot. It seems like alot, but they each do their thing. His side effects remain minimal. There are no quality of life issues for us during this treatment regimen.
He remains positive, more so now than ever. I am somewhat less positive, but then, I carry enough fear for both of us. Knowing our life in retirement is not going to be what we had planned. And knowing that he can be taken from me at any time. I however, live by a mantra that I have hanging on the wall in my studio. "I will not be made idle with despair". During this entire nightmare, I have never run across any grouping of words that better describes how I felt then, and continue to feel now. My husband has cancer, but he is still the man I married over 30 years ago, cancer has not and cannot change that. As I tell my children, your father is your father. He just happens to have cancer. This changes nothing about him.
I wish you all success in your fight against this horrid and invasive disease.