On a positive note, I think I’m finally coming out of the brain fog I’ve been in since finishing WBR (Whole Brain Radiation) at the end of April. This is a good thing, but all of a sudden I’m more aware of what’s been going on the past months. And it’s a bit overwhelming. I found myself out of the groove and a little stir crazy this week, but not quite sure what to do with myself. It was hard to motivate myself to do anything. I think I could use a bit of a jump start back into life. There has been some improvement with The Headache. It’s still my daily companion, but the severity of my pain has decreased overall and the meds I’ve been taking seem to be helping as well. So my quality of life in terms of my head pain has significantly improved. Yay to that! I’m actually able to enjoy movies and TV series together with John again, which is great. And I can go out and do stuff with more stimulation again because I have a pain medication that’ll actually help me get through it. So, I’m happy to report progress there. I’m still sleeping crazy amounts. I figure it’s my brain still trying to heal after getting fried so hard. I feel lucky that I’m able to get the sleep I need. Not everyone does. We won’t check (via MRI) on the brain mets till the end of next month to see how WBR worked.
I had a CT scan of my abdomen and chest last Wednesday and the results were mixed. The cancer in my lungs is stable. (yay.) But there’s new activity in my liver. (boo.) I met with my oncologist today and we looked at the scan pictures. There’s one spot that looks easy to biopsy so that’s the next step. It’s possible my cancer may have mutated in that area and it no longer overexpresses the HER2 protein. The current chemo I’m on is a combination of a toxic chemo linked with a targeted therapy that specifically targets cancers overexpressing the HER2 protein. The mutation would explain why the chemo I’m currently on (Kadcyla) has had no effect on the new and growing spots in the liver. My liver has moved a bit and my spleen is enlarged. These both indicate issues in the liver.
So now we wait for the biopsy and results. There is the possibility this could be something other than cancer so I’ll vote for that. (We can always hope!) But thinking realistically, if it is the cancer and it has mutated, we’ll need to switch to a chemo that would be effective for both HER2 positive and HER2 negative cancer. I’ve never done a chemo agent in the antracycline class so there’s an old school chemo combo known as FEC, which combines 3 chemo agents together: fluorouracil(also known as 5FU, kind of a funny name…), epirubicin(an anthracycline agent), and cyclophosphamide. I looked them all up when I got home from my appt today and saw that flouorouracil does cross the blood brain barrier. And cyclophosphamide crosses the BBB to a limited extent. It was a relief to see the chemo could possibly help with the brain mets as well if I need to switch to it. Since receiving the news about the liver activity, I’ve been a bit bummed, having realized that if that the new activity is the cancer, the current chemo is not working on it. But, after talking to my doctor and having a back up plan to deal with the mutated cancer (if that turns out to be the case) makes me feel a lot better.
I continue to do my Qigong/self-healing. It doesn’t really matter anymore whether it helps me heal into life or death. (And of course everyone dies at some point….) I only know that it is healing for me mentally for sure so I’ll keep practicing it till my last breath on this planet. I know how much easier it is for me to get through the hard times anchored to my inner peace. That’s not to say I don’t have down moments or moments when I wonder if this is the beginning of the end. I try to let them pass. I also try not to take it too personally when the results aren’t what I expected. It gives me comfort to know I’m a part of nature and don’t beat myself up about not successfully healing physically. There’s so much I don’t understand, but I also keep the idea in my mind that anything’s possible. There are so many unexplainable miracles that occur in this life. There’s no reason that I couldn’t be one of them. So on I go. I am traveling with my mom to the Pacific Northwest for a week at the end of June. At the end of July, hubs and are going back to the beach. By hook or by crook, I am going on these vacations and I know the nature will be healing. I am so thankful for music, nature, books, water, family, friends, movies, kitties, and so much more that gets me through these waiting room time periods. I’ll keep you all posted. Thanks for walking by my side in all of this.