Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Insane with Abraxane

Here’s the latest cancer update on my brain tumors and new chemotherapy:

I found out yesterday that second MRI following my brain radiation in September did not show much change from the first MRI. Three out of the four tumors looked the same, and even showed slightly more swelling around them. The good news is the tumor in my brain stem, which is the most critical tumor, did show more shrinkage. There were no new spots or tumors. I go back for another MRI in 5 weeks to see if there is any more change. If the swelling persists, I may have to go back on the dreaded steroids.  So it’s not great news, but not terrible news either.

I have had four treatments of my new chemo – Abraxane – and I have been feeling the side effects. My hair is slowly falling out –again. I am exhausted most of the time, I feel nauseous from time to time, I am constipated, my skin is dry, my face is broken out and the tips of fingers and toes are sore and crack easily. The good news is that I am sleeping OK, I am still able to get out of bed and go to work, and I have spurts of energy that allow me to function ‘normally’.
Speaking of ‘normal’ - I have no idea what it feels like to be normal, or wake up and go through an entire day without some ache, pain, tiredness or nausea.  There are days I want to give up, stop treatment, lay on the couch and sleep and just stop the fight. I am utterly sick of feeling sick. I am sick of doctor appointments each week, MRIs, PET scans and waiting for results. I am sick of new meds and treatments and their side effects. I am sick of good news, followed by bad news a few weeks later. I do not feel brave, or confident, or hopeful. Most days, I just go through the motions.

This July it will be four years since I found out I had cancer and I have to say it is wearing me down. It is difficult to look forward to the future, not knowing how I will be feeling from one day to the next. I know this sounds depressing. However, it is how I feel at the moment. Deep down, I know I will not give up. I know I still have much to live for and reasons to keep fighting.  So I will, somehow.
Enjoy the Christmas picture. Chris the kids and I had a great Christmas and new year’s with family and friends. We are truly blessed!