I had a visit with my Sacramento oncologist today, and he was able to read my Sacramento scan just fine.
Unfortunately, Sacramento cancer is definitely growing back in the ablated part of my liver.
It is already 2 centimeters, which means the herceptin is not doing much. That means babying my colon is about to end; I have to go back on chemo. Considering that I was up all night last night with mystery nausea and stomach pain, this idea does not excite me. In fact, it makes me very, very nervous. I'm not sure my tender and flighty intestines are ready to be flooded with toxic chemicals.
But, having cancer take over my liver doesn't sound appealing either, so I guess I don't have a choice.
The chemo I will be on is called Abraxane. It is almost the same as Taxol, which I've done before. The difference between Taxol and Abraxane is in how the body metabolizes it, I think - you don't require as many steroids or pre-meds with Abraxane. The plan is to shrink the tumor down for my San Francisco surgeon - I have an appointment in mid-April. Perhaps he can ablate it again, or maybe he has another trick up his sleeve for me.
The good news, and there is some, is that there is no cancer anywhere else. After all this time, that is excellent. If we can take care of this one stubborn area, I can still be in good shape to live a few more years and buy my son some sheets for his college dorm.
So, next Wednesday I will start the Abraxane and go back on the attack. Colon, I'm warning you now - you need to get on board!
Unfortunately, you lose your hair with this chemo, so I will be bald again. Since there is always a positive, that means no bikini wax for the summer. I'm so happy to not have to shave my legs for a while, what a chore that is.
Last time I lost my hair, I bought cheap, adjustable wigs - lots of them in all kinds of fun styles and colors - but couldn't wear them, they were just miserably uncomfortable. Maybe if I splurge and buy a real hair, lace cap wig, it might be more tolerable, and I can keep it on for more than five minutes without my face turning red and demonstrating the urge to rip it off and throw it across the room. I have a special wedding this summer I don't want to be bald at, and as entertaining as wig-ripping might be, I think I'll leave any histrionics to drunk Uncle Frank. It's a special moment for two special people, and it deserves hair.
I'm sure scarves will be my go-to, but I'm really not very cute bald and I've been there/done that with the bald thing. I've answered all possible questions pertaining to my head about a hundred zillion times.
Anonymous, at times, is good. And, that means a decent wig.
For my SacTown readers: Does anybody in Sacramento know where to get a reasonably-priced real hair wig? And, preferably my own hair color, which is now a silver/gray. And, remember, I'm a pin-head, nothing fits me off the rack. Thank you!
PTSD and Cancer
2 days ago