Friday, February 23, 2007

Good News on the Chemo Front

What a delight your comments have been to my post yesterday about oxalis and oxaliplatin! Mikebel, I don't know you, and don't have any way of contacting you, but I really appreciate the information about oxalic acid, and how oxaliplatin was developed. I didn't know any of that, and I love information! I also love rhubarb, but I'd rather eat it, even without sweetener, than have infusions with oxaliplatin! And I think I'll pass on the spin in the washer with the oxalic acid, Jan, but I get that it's a serious chemical!

So, without wanting to get too excited, I have two reports on the chemo front.

The first is that the "spot" in my abdomen (actually "spot #2" since the first one was removed), is noticeably smaller than it was in January when I had my last scan. It's still there, it's round and hard, but it no longer feels like the tumor that wants to gobble up my insides, or grow to be a grapefruit. Of course, I won't know anything about the more dangerous tumor that's inside my abdomen, out of reach, and endangering some of my internal organs until I have the scan on March 5. Still, it makes sense that if my "spot" is shrinking, so is that nasty tumor inside! So, this gives me optimism that my fight against the tumors is having success! (And after some of the tough days this past week, that's especially good . . . ) Since the surgical oncologist, Dr. M, had mentioned that this might be a reason to keep this "spot," I'm appreciating his suggestion. I can't believe I can actually feel a change in it!

The other report is more anecdotal, me making up a story again. I have acne rosacea on my face, across my nose, and it is an annoying skin condition that produces ugly red spots and blemishes. I have topical medicine for it (metrogel), which may be keeping it from getting worse, but mostly hasn't seemed to do much. However, I've noticed in the last two weeks that my skin is peeling around my nose, and my red spots seem to be slowly clearing up. So, I've decided (here's my story) that it's the chemo, which targets fast growing cells in the body, that has attacked my rosacea and made it much less problematic. (I still say that once a person is in her 50s, she should not have problems with acne of any variety, but this ailment has not listened to my complaints.) Imagine! The chemo may have cleared up my skin!

So, I've felt tired but good today except for my appetite, which is in the pits. I kept thinking about milkshakes, so I finally made one this evening, and have to drink it in very slow sips to warm it in my mouth, but I feel like I'm breaking some rule in a fun way! The thing is, I will have to find something resembling dinner also, because I have to take my Xeloda tonight after dinner. Otherwise, I'd probably just pass on dinner altogether . . .

Thank you again for all of the responses, which make me smile every time I think about them. I so appreciate feeling that we are in an extended, long distance conversation in writing . . .


Anonymous said...


Just catching up on your last two entries...smiling through your good news about the shrinking tumor, laughing out loud at Jan's offer, and appreciating the many ways you are enriching our lives through your writings. Not only are we able to "walk" along with you, but through the comments, we are learning more about each other, too. Your gifts continue to amaze me.

Wishing you a growing appetite and the buds to go with it.


Sandy said...

Yea!!!!!!! Again I say, APOPTOSIS to those cancer cells! I just had a funny image of them shrinking away (melting) like the Wicked Witch of the West....

Anonymous said...

"OUT DAMNED SPOT!"...hmmm...isn't that Shakespeare???? Ok...I admit it....I don't know ..but I remember it being something literary.(at this point one of my brood would roll their eyeballs and murmur "duuurh, mom")
Along with not having to deal with acne and skin problems once you pass 50....I'd like to also voice my opinion that I think it's also quite annoying to lose whatever memory cells you may have aquired since birth!!! I kids ask "Where's my sox?" and I know ( of course!) but Shakespeare?...or the right word to say? aquaintance's name?...or..even the name of said kid in above sentence..?...and I'm at a blank!
oi vey! I'm thrilled that you are finding the spot smaller, Lynne! That IS cause to celebrate!! A milkshake is good! Go slowly as to not freeze your skullbones...but ENJOY! Here on the farm ( yeehaw) the kids and I have a tradition of celebrating each vacation or milestone with a breakfast of chocolate waffles and ice cream!! Sounds like a great supper to me!
Your ice cream fanatic friend,

Anonymous said...

What good news...shrinkage! Also, thanks for this blog that has become a community. Mike's info was great. Hope you found something that you could call dinner and that your appetite will return soon.


Anonymous said...

Hooray for the smaller spot!! How wonderful to actually be able to FEEL that it is smaller.
I would like to "ditto" Sondra's comment about your blog becoming a community. I enjoy reading your journal along with comments from those I know and those I don't know....sometimes with tears and sometimes with laughter. I hope you found something to tickle your fancy for dinner last night. Cori's chocolate waffles sound great!
Here's to an ever-shrinking spot!!
Mary McCarthy

Anonymous said...

hi lynne-
GREAT NEWS on that spot being smaller !!!!! and gotta love side effects that improve acne- hardly the nature of a side effect is to have something troublesome get better, now is it ???
i am thinking of you, with your pitiful appetite, and wanted you to know that just across the town of middleboro, there's another little chemo person with no appetite !!!!
lexie has not really been able to eat since she arrived home yesterday in the early afterenoon from her sleepover with her friend alley in brockton- too much partying i say !!!! she skipped church and had a lowgrade fever when i got home- but it is gone now, and she is trying some toast- so you and lexie are chemo low appetite buds today- doesn't misery love company or something like that ????
not really -
hang in there and we hope upon hopes that your appetite returns SOON !!!!
love and light, alice

noone said...

Lynne this is great news!!!! :) Yayyy!

I'm reading backwards to catch up here. About the appetite, Mom has that problem too. She's trying to eat anyway because she's lost too much weight skipping meals. She has a meal replacement drink when she's really having a hard time - it's called Glucerna, but it's for Diabetics. You could probably take Boost or Ensure or any other meal replacement drink. That might help get you over those times when you don't feel like eating but you'll still be getting nutrition. They're very much like milkshakes too so maybe you'll like them! :)

Okay, off to catch up on the rest that I've missed here {{Hug}} :)