The Influenza de Maggie has taken it’s logical next step – I’m now sick as a dog.* So, while Maggie and I were hanging out last night instead of sleeping, she shared with me more details of her visit with Dr. Loukas on Tuesday morning.
* You have to wonder, really, where are all these dogs that have a cough, runny nose, and fever with body aches?
(All this is discussion with Dr. Loukas was between him and Maggie. I was in class, per usual so I’m giving it to you second hand, adding flare where necessary for readability and effect.)
Dr. Loukas was very firm with Maggie during this visit – she’s not going to be cured. He feels that Dr. Curly is being overly optimistic if not even a bit irresponsible by continuing to press the cure button. Sure, he wants to avoid smashing hopes but the reality is that we need to re-focus our hope. Our last real chance was our long-shot, our all-in – switching to FOLFOX. We did, and since the tumors didn’t make the miraculous disappearance we were hoping for, we are now playing the time game again – the “how long can we stay at the table” game.
He said that we’ve got to be very careful, as we’ve needed to be from the beginning, to choose our next steps wisely. We just don’t have that many different cards to play. We’ve already played one (Xeloda) and now we’re playing card number two (FOLFOX). Did I mention that it’s a very small deck?
So, for that reason he’s going to cut back her treatments to once every three weeks to slow down the toxic buildup from FOLFOX. Once maximum toxicity is hit, we have to move to another treatment, one certain to be less effective. The longer we can prevent that buildup, the longer we have until we are forced to play another card.
Maggie is frustrated and has lost all love for the Wizards at MDAnderson. The required four day visits, throwing up, bad arms stick and driving to Houston has given us nothing but heartburn and false hopes. They’ve reached the end of their usefulness. We’ll likely not be returning. Their purpose was to confirm her diagnosis and Dr. Loukas’ approach, which they’ve done. Now they are just being a bother.
I’ll now take my place beside her in bed, alternating sweating and shivering, and hopefully get some much-needed sleep. Roommate Martha made some wonderful chicken soup for us last night. Everyone knows that stuff is magic. Maggie and I are ready for it to work.