Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What's Up With the Doc 65? - End of Active Treatment?

Well, it's been a week. To make a long story short, last week's Navelbine just kicked my butt. I felt awful Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday. Saturday I got some sort of weird reprieve that let me play Mario Brothers on Lindsay and Jacob's Wii when they came up for a visit. Again, I find it hard to describe. Gastrointestinal symptoms seem to be at the center of it all with epigastric pain, bloating, cramping, nausea, early satiety, and loss of appetite. I also had a tremendous increase in my weakness and shortness of breath with even the slightest exertion. And, again, I just could not get comfortable. I called my oncologist on Monday and cancelled yesterday's and next week's Navelbine. I have an appointment on August 4th, after we get back from Texas, for Zometa and Navelbine and we'll go talk then, but at this point I'm not inclined to accept any more active treatment for this cancer. I presume that these symptoms are from the Navelbine and it's simply not worth it for a treatment that is most likely not to do anything for me and at best might extend my survival by a month or so. If these symptoms were from the cancer, then the Navelbine wouldn't be working anyway so why keep taking it? But every day I feel a little better, so it's pretty clear Navelbine is the culprit.

This is a difficult decision. To some it feels like giving up. To some it feels like accelerating the inevitable. To me it feels like claiming the last vestiges of feeling less than awful that I can claim. Because this decision is difficult and is processed in different ways by the people I love I also requested a hospice referral and the case manager will come out to meet with Robert and me tomorrow afternoon. South central Connecticut is actually the birthplace of hospice in America and they have a very strong program here. They have a program called CanSupport for people still on active treatment and that's what we're enrolling in at this time. But just the term hospice is a loaded one and I feel for all of you who have to process that.

Meanwhile, life goes on and is as busy as ever. Tonight, after work, Emma and I are driving to my cousin's house in Pennsylvania to crash before I deliver her to New Bolton Center early Thursday. I'll drive back in a leisurely fashion and see the hospice case manager late tomorrow afternoon. I have another clinical shift on Friday and a leisurely day (except for laundry!) on Saturday then Sunday I take an early train to Boston to pick Hannah up from volleyball camp at Boston College and drive her to another volleyball camp at Lehigh University. Then home, clinical shifts Monday and Wednesday next week and then we're off to Texas on Friday.

I start the last square of Lindsay's quilt today and should get it put together over the next couple of weeks, at which point I'll start Emma's. The outside of the house should be all painted by the end of this week and Robert is plugging away at the inside as time permits. The impatiens my friend planted last month are growing and blooming (I told you so!) and it is still very lush in Connecticut. It has been a lovely week, weather-wise, not preparing me in any way for Texas in July.

Think good thoughts to hurry away the last of the nasty Navelbine effects so I can enjoy life for a while. Thank you all again for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers.

1 comment:

Holly said...

thinking GOOD thoughts for you, very, very GOOD you have any insight or perspective on why MD's seems to find it so difficult to manage their own feelings with regard to their loved ones being diagnosed? my partner of 14 years and life (hah!!) left me halfway through my radiation treatment...said that he just couldn't stick around to be with a 'damaged' woman who would probably die and whose fault it was that she got trip neg breast CA...he found a nice young healthy woman and now they are getting married and i feel so sad...