I truly, truly wish I had some good news to report. I’m so tired of being the sad sack, the fun suck, the wet blanket. But I have nothing. Instead, I have cold, hard reality. Maggie has been suffering from increased pain over the last few days. We were hoping that it was a phase she was going through. But it keeps getting worse. Her nausea has increased substantially so that she’s vomiting many times per day. Food staying down has become a real problem. And, as if things aren’t challenging enough, she’s caught a cold.
Today, after a couple days of fighting the pain with boluses, she turned up her pain pump substantially. She’s now on 25 micrograms per hour of fentanyl, twice what it had been, and it’s not doing a good job of controlling the pain. Her fever has come on and off throughout the day. Is it because of a cold? Who knows? But, hey, at least we can depend on the nausea. It has been fairly constant.
Tomorrow is her next treatment. Afterwards she’ll fly home to me care of Daniel Castillo. Daniel was very kind to donate his Southwest award flight to us. Thank you, Daniel, for your kind gift. I know you said it’s no big deal but to us it means a lot.
For next week, rumor has it that Angel Flight is going to find us flights. We don’t have any details at this point but I’m hopeful that they’ll pull through for us. A representative told us that they are trying to cover our Tuesday morning, Thursday morning and Friday afternoon flight. That just leaves her trip back to Austin on Tuesday evening. What a fantastic gift.
A minute doesn’t go by that I don’t think about the efficacy of this new treatment. Sadly, there’s no evidence or guarantee that any of this effort will be worth our time. As a Phase I trial, the hospital is only really concerned with the drug’s toxicity. In other words, the trial Maggie’s on is specifically to see what dose is poisonous. There are about 40 people in this trial which are divided into groups of five (I think.) Each subsequent group is given an increased dose. She’s the last of the second group and, thus, will receive the next-to-the-lowest dosage. We’ve made it past the first treatment so it’s apparently better tolerated than the Erbitux. Hopefully, it’ll be as effective. We could use a good base hit right now.
I’m really struggling to find any good news right now about our situation. We are in a not-so-good place right now. Fortunately, there’s a little ray of sunshine that makes me smile. A friend of ours, Karen, who has also been diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer, has been given what seems like a miracle. After her treatment with Erbitux and radio frequency ablation, her tumors have shrunk to the point where she’s eligible for a possibly curative surgery. Absolutely amazing. We could not be happier for her and her husband Francis. For their success, we are thankful. Congrats, Karen and Francis!