“When struck by an arrow, don’t seek more days in your life but more life in your days. Forget quantity; pursue quality. Look beyond the pain and you’ll find incredible perspective.” – Charles Swindoll
The above quote was in my devotional yesterday, and I just love it. I have to confess, though, that when I first read it a fleeting thought went through my mind: “Oh, no. What now?!” Knowing I had an appointment with Dr. Antonucci later that afternoon, I truly hoped I wasn’t getting some kind of pep talk for yet another arrow in my life, The news I got wasn’t exactly an arrow, but it wasn’t something to get excited about either.
I have another infusion on Friday, followed by two more weeks of chemo pills. Then I’m set to have a CT scan on the morning of Wednesday, April 8. In discussing next steps, Dr. Antonucci said that if the scan comes back good – meaning that the tumor in my lung is shrinking or gone – he plans to leave me on a chemo regimen for the foreseeable future. As he said, “We can’t just stop the medicine if the cancer appears to be gone. We’ve done that before and it just keeps coming back.”
Assuming a good scan, the plan is to continue with Avastin infusions and a lower dose of chemo pills. The rounds will be spaced farther apart each time, which will help minimize side effects. We would then do a PET scan in the summer to get a better look at everything. The cancer in my lymph nodes is too small to be detected in the CT scan, so we won’t know how it’s responding to treatment until the PET scan.
If the CT scan doesn’t show improvement, we’ll have to look at changing to another kind of chemo and hope for better results.
As I’ve said before, I feel good about my treatment. I’m breathing better and hope it’s because the chemo is addressing the cancer in my lung. It was kind of a bummer to find out that even if it is working, I’m not getting a pass on chemo anytime soon. I am, however, an old pro at this chemo business and am getting fairly adept at managing the side effects. With the exception of chemo brain, that is. I am still a danger to myself and others and have to add a disclaimer to most everything I say or write.
I recently got a new prescription of Nasonex, a nasal allergy spray, I laughed at the warning label advising not to spray Nasonex in your mouth or eyes. I don’t know what I was thinking as I got ready for bed last night, but I somehow managed to entirely miss my nostril with the spray mist and instead sent the medicine directly into my eye. As the saying goes,”Pride goeth before a fall.” Oh, well. At least I didn’t mistake it for my mouthwash.