Maggie’s finally starting to feel a little bit better. She had more smiles and more chit-chat this morning than we’ve had since Friday. Five days down. However, watching her slow down as she got ready for work this morning made it obvious that she still feels pretty rough. But she didn’t grind to a halt like the other mornings. And we only had one cough/gag/spit (compared to many the other days.) She’ll be back early again today for lots of bed and TV time but it’s still an improvement. We’ll take it. Unfortunately, today she starts her Xeloda again. That by itself has quite a nasty kick. Continue reading Feeling Better, Finally
The Spa visit yesterday was uneventful. Dr. Loukas was quite surprised at how badly the Vectibix had affected Maggie’s skin. He said that Maggie’s reaction was the worst he’d ever seen, calling it a Grade 4 reaction. But, he reassured, if her skin reacted badly then the tumors were being affected similarly. He did not, however, order another dose of the stuff, suggesting instead a more scientific wait-and-see approach. But he was very clear to leave the ultimate choice of if and when again up to us. Continue reading Chemo Sucks
…Gone tomorrow. Twenty-one days to the day. That’s how long it took for CPT-11 to start its dirty work. Maggie and I were sitting upstairs on the couch late this evening, appreciating our special time together, talking about our day and watching House when she showed me the first clumps. It wasn’t much. Maybe 10-15 hairs. But we know these signs. We traveled this road before. The hair loss has begun. Continue reading Hair today….
Erbitux and Vectibix both work in similar ways to fight The Cancer. However, a recent study (from June 6th!) shows that Erbitux, and thus, probably Vectibix, is only potent against tumors with a very specific trait. Of course, Maggie and I insisted that her tumor be tested for this trait because, damn it, if we are going to deal with all these unpleasantries we want to know that at least we’ve got a fighting chance. Today, Nurse Mary from The Spa called to let us know that the genetic testing was complete and our tumors do, in fact, have that specific trait. Good news! Continue reading Some Good News
Carolyn Ruppert, a friend of Maggie’s, has made a tremendous commitment to raise $3,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation by participating in the LiveStrong Challenge on October 25, 2008. This grueling challenge consists of a 90 mile bike ride followed by a 5k run. Additionally, she has very thoughtfully dedicated her efforts in honor of Maggie. It’s an amazingly kind gesture, one that has touched both Maggie and me. Continue reading Lance Armstrong Challenge ’08
It’s hard to effectively relate the sharp up and downs of this journey. Maggie is doing better… again. The Dr. has prescribed a lower dose of prednisone (20mg but only one time per day) to help with the Vectibix/Erbitux induced skin issues. We’ve gone on a testing spree to find anything that might help with the dry skin. I think we found the gold. Continue reading Getting Better
It seems like we are going in circles. The oh-so bothersome side effects from the Vectibix are back, in nearly full force. The rash and infections have once again overtaken Maggie’s face, ears, neck, back, and chest. Our joy in watching them magically disappear has been far overshadowed by the frustration caused by their just-as-magical return. Continue reading Yet Another Left Turn
The Great Cancer Adventure that we’re on continues to hurl us through seemingly endless valleys, peaks, twists and turns. It’s the hard left turns that really get to me. There is just a shock to the system that takes some recovery time when things that are going so well suddenly go bad. Fortunately, the recovery is easier on the head when things that are going badly suddenly get better. Continue reading Wow, Another Hard Left Turn!
These last few days have been some of the toughest so far. Maggie’s new treatment, Vectibix, has teeth. The latest piece of our life to fall victim to The Cancer (or, rather, The Treatment) is Maggie’s beautiful smile. Continue reading Worst Side-Effect Yet
Today’s Spa visit went fine – no crazy adverse reactions or dramatic moments. We got our poisons and came home. Continue reading Spa Went Fine