01 December 2005

The Fight

GH in is Round 2 of his latest chemo. His new regimen is a drug called Xeloda, which conveniently comes in pill form, combined with Avastin, which he was getting before. He takes the Xeloda twice a day for two weeks, then has a week off from the pills during which he goes in for a check-up and the Avastin (a 30-minute IV). Bloodwork at the end of Round 1 was not stellar but must be taken with a grain of salt since the new treatment had not really had time to work and the cancer had had six weeks to get the upper hand.

Tumor marker numbers are up. Not a lot, but they're up. That's the wrong direction, folks. Platelets are still low, so Gemzar is not a treatment option right now. Red cells and white cells are good, as they have been for a while. Liver function is in the near-normal range. So a mix of good and not-so-good.

The big question is how effective the new treatment will be. So far, it's quite tolerable. Some fatigue (welcome to our life), some darkening of the skin on the hands and peeling skin on hands and feet, but that's about it. A little queasiness, but nothing like the "let's vomit all the time!" effect of fucking Cisplatin (that didn't even really work).

The scary thing about the possibility of this treatment not working is that we're running out of options. If the platelets ever come back up (Come on! Come on!), we can go back to Gemzar. Otherwise, there are a few other drugs in the arsenal, but not many. And I don't know how long we wait to give the new treatment a chance to work before we can evaluate if it's working or not.

I had this moment over Thanksgiving in Detroit where I got totally overwhelmed. We were at the movies, Walk the Line. I didn't feel very well. And I just started thinking about GH being sick, about the twins on the way, about money, about time, about the holidays, all that stuff. It was totally too much for me. All I could think was, "What the fuck are we doing? What will I do if GH dies? How will I go on, missing him so much, trying to take care of twins, trying to make my way through life?" I feel like I already miss him, in a way, and I hate that--I hate that my mind prepares me for what's to come when I can't actually predict the future.

I just hate cancer.


LCT said...

I know there is nothing I can say to make things better, but I wanted you to know that I'm still reading and "listening" if you will. The future is uncertain, but if those fears come to pass, I will be among the many standing by to help you any way we can. Much love . . .

LCT said...

Have you considered reducing the pressure on yourselves by minimizing the holiday hubub? Maybe give yourselves permission to decline a few invitations, reduce or eliminate the gift shopping, etc. I think the "no visitors in December" is a good start. Anyway just a thought. Or maybe participating in all that holiday stuff is comforting in a way?