As my mom would say.
GH spoke to his oncologist yesterday. She took him off the Xeloda; if it's not working, why suffer the side effects? I can't argue with that logic. We're keeing GH's 5 Jan 06 appointment with her, at which time we'll go over possible next steps in detail, but here's pretty much what's under consideration/going to happen:
1. The oncologist is getting GH an appointment at a well known, well respected cancer research center in our city with the hope that they will be able to hook him up with some drugs that are not on the market yet. This could happen through a formal clinical trial or just through the fact that the research centers can get things that your average oncologist can't. Not sure when this appointment will be. I assume in January.
2. If GH's platelet counts come up over the holidays, we might go back to our friend Gemzar, the only chemo we know works.
3. Going back to Taxotere is another option. This is the drug that made GH lose his hair. Hair loss is nothing compared to dying, but he just got his first haircut, for crying out loud!
4. Standard radiation is evidently not an option because the cancer is too widespread. But I want to ask either GH's regular oncologist or the research folks about these radiation microbeads that get implated in the tumor or tumor area. I've read about these for use in liver cancer. Could be interesting and worth pursuing.
It was rather gloomy around our house last night. Feeling like the options are running out is very scary. As GH gave me the news from the oncologist last night, I realized that I never really believed that the Xeloda wasn't working. It just wasn't an option to me. It HAD to work. But it didn't.
The six months until the twins are due feel very, very long right now. GH and I spent a lot of time crying and just being together last night, sharing our fear. He told me that our babies would not grow up without a father. I want to believe him, I want to feel like this is in our control. But I feel that faith slipping away. What can I do to get it back? Can the cancer researchers give it back to me? Do I need to find it within myself? I feel like I need to focus so much attention and energy on caring for myself and the twins right now that sometimes I forget that GH has a death sentence staring him in the face. What must that feel like? Barring some unforseen problem/accident/whatever, I know that I'm going to know my kids, to raise them, to have them call me Mom. Despite GH's bravado, he has no such certainty. What must that feel like?