Maybe Here, Maybe There

October 10, 2008

O Best Beloveds, the numbers this month, after two rounds of chemo, are 1602, which is up from 1535, but a significantly smaller jump up than we have been seeing for months now. Dr. W’s view is “cautiously optimistic” that this indicates matters may be plateau-ing, and from there to reversing. But to take the guesswork out, I’m going back for scans at the end of this month. If the cancer shows signs of decreasing, then, yay! (Particularly since this chemo is another smooth ride. I’m starting to get some dry hands and feet, so Hand/Foot Syndrome is coming, but slowly.) If not, then we have all kinds of fun in store. To start:

1) A liver biopsy. Haven’t done one of those in awhile. I made Dr. W. promise I could have that dream doctor who did my last one for a repeat performance. He believes in Demerol and lots of it. He’s my friend.

2) The biopsy is to see if my cancer is still hormone related. This seems hard to believe, since I can’t possibly have any hormones left, what with one thing and another, but apparently, that would account for the behavior of the cancer. It seems that really aggressive cancer is non-hormone related, and while it spreads quickly, it also responds promptly to treatment. Whereas hormone-related cancer is, rather like those kids who graduate from college and yet still live at home, hard to dislodge from the couch. They don’t do much other than drink your beer, but eventually, they invite enough friends over to party and pretty soon, they are setting fire to the furniture. This kind of cancer might not do damage for some time, but it’s really hard to get rid of.

3) But hormone cancer does respond to hormone treatment; witness how I was in remission for nearly four years while on aromatase inhibitor Femara. However, my cancer isn’t responding to that sort of thing any more. (Damn slacker kids.) So what to do?

4) Why, there’s a treatment in town! It…well, not sure exactly, but it sort of…reactivates the hormone cancer so that it responds to hormone treatment again. Something like that.

5) But this treatment is still in trial stages. That means Dr. W. has to get me into a trial. Now, there might be one at City of Hope, but if not, Steve and I will have to take our show on the road. Which means? No one knows. Could be anywhere. Could be for any length of time. Could be go one time, and come home and take drugs, could be back and forth, could be go and stay for a bit. I want to know the important answers, like might it be somewhere there is lobster, or snorkeling, or cobblestone streets?

But answers we don’t get, at least, not in any sort of a timely manner. 1602 is today’s answer, with more coming with scans in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, Headology Doctor is switching me from Celexa to Zoloft, because I felt pretty good on Plucky Survivors, but less so each day since then. I did well on Zoloft some years ago (during Cancer: The Return) so let’s hope this time it’s equally effective. It’s got an uphill fight, because, well, see #1-5 above. I mean, can there at least be some cool old diner where we can get to know everyone personallyand they know exactly how we like our bacon?

Meanwhile, it is Steve’s birthday on Thursday, Oct. 16. Send him a note telling him what a patient, over all swell guy he is, won’t you? (

From the middle of…somewhere!