After an absolutely delightful trip to New Mexico I returned to my real life in Connecticut on Monday. I saw the oncologist for Gemzar and Zometa on Tuesday and have had no real problems as a result, but my fatigue level is getting worse and worse. I don't know whether it was the travel, the slightly lower steroid dose, the chemo, or a combination of all three, but I'm having trouble getting myself up and at 'em in the morning and by the time I get home from whatever small amount of time I spend at work I collapse into the recliner and don't generally move except for dinner. My pain level is also increasing and I'll have to raise the Oxycontin dose with the next refill and I'm noticing swelling in my feet and ankles and abdomen.
I'm scheduled for two more doses of Gemzar, which will make a total of eight, and then a scan on December 8th. I don't expect anything different from this scan than we have seen with all the preceding ones since August of 2008 - slow but clear progression. And that will mean the end of Gemzar and all active treatment for the cancer (I will continue the Zometa for the time being but it's not considered active cancer treatment). Between now and then I will try another steroid dose reduction next week. If I feel worse I'll bump back up to the original dose and leave it be. If I feel better I'll keep trying small, slow dose reductions until we see how low I can go.
There is still much on my horizon. I've started on Emma's quilt, family will be here for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I suspect there will be other visits from family and friends. I'm just having a little trouble, at this point, seeing more than a few weeks ahead of my nose. I know there's nothing to do but keep putting one foot in front of the other and see where it leads me, but I'd like to get my smile back to keep me company.
This weekend will be graced with a visit from Lindsay and Jacob and a batch of green chile stew made from the chiles I brought back with me from New Mexico. The weather in Connecticut swings wildly from beautiful, crisp and clear to gray, dreary and wet but at least we don't have 2 feet of snow! (Sorry you guys in Colorado.)
More next week when I know how the next steroid experiment goes.