Friday, December 5, 2008

Snorkeling in Wisconsin!

Only in Wisconsin! TGIF!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sunny update

After an acupuncture treatment, lab work, x-rays and a physical exam (this took 2-1/2 hours) Sunny and I left the vet's office exhausted (she was more exhausted than me LOL). The good news is the tumor in her leg has not grown at all in a months' time which he found to be unusual if the tumor was truly an osteosarcoma. He also said that she should be in a lot more pain than she is. When he pressed on the area of leg that is involved she merely looked at him as if to say "what the heck are you doing mister." Osteosarcomas are very painful bone tumors, and she does not exhibit symptoms of having intense pain. Her chest x-ray was clear, which was also good. He explained to me a little about Chinese medicine (of which I know nothing. I will have to do some internet research LOL) and what he said makes a lot of sense. He is going to give us some Chinese herbs to give Sunny and would like to do some acupuncture for pain management. The acupuncture was pretty weird. He stuck about 5 small needles in various areas of her body. She actually laid down on the floor and slept for about 20 minutes. She seemed to walk better on her leg after the acupuncture. I will be talking to him tomorrow when he calls with the lab results, and we will go from there. I am willing to try something rather than nothing at this point.

Way off topic: Clementines are in season. They are my absolute favorite winter fruit!

And last but not least: Chemo #? what number is this really? is next week Thursday. I have had a little of this and a little of that.... I am not sure what we call it. #2 I think. LOL

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


So Tired

Well... I am at home. The treatment had to be stopped 10 minutes after the infusion started even with all the new premeds they gave me. My face and chest got flushed and red again, the other symptoms probably would have followed had we continued. My oncologist said we could go no further. Plan A never seems to be in my favor, so we are on to plan B. Adriamycin is my only other choice right now. The plan is to get a MUGGA scan (heart scan) or echocardiogram and plan another treatment early next week with the Adriamycin. I am actually not as mad or frustrated as the last time. I knew if the back of my mind it could go either way. If the Adriamycin works then my treatments should be over by the end of January if all goes as planned. That is a very short time frame, so I need to keep it in my mind that this is very short and temporary. I am feeling ok about the switch of drugs only because I don't really have any other choice at this point. I need to do whatever it takes to make sure I am covering all the bases in this cancer treatment. I only have a one-shot deal with this treatment. I don't ever want to look back and say "I should have done this but I didn't."

Sunny update:
I am taking Sunny for another opinion tomorrow with a holistic vet to see how we can medically manage her leg problem. From what he told me on the phone Sunny is not displaying normal symptoms of a dog with an osteosarcoma. I am hoping that she was misdiagnosed!

I am going to nap now as they gave me a nice dose of Benadryl, and I am beginning to feel tired!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Update on Chemo

Today I woke up with a completely different feeling about the chemo and what I should do. I was now leaning towards trying the Taxotere again. After talking with my SIL, Sandy, and listening to what her thoughts were, she reconfirmed my thoughts and I just needed to talk with my onc.
Maybe I don't need to make the choice, the choice will be made for me. By trying the Taxotere tomorrow it will be determined if I can tolerate it or not. If I can't tolerate it, I have no choice but to switch to Adriamycin. If I can tolerate it great! I at least need to give it another try and hopefully we will get through it. The adriamycin scares me with the heart risk. My luck has been shit and I would be the in the 1% that has a problem. My friend, Connie, also had the same type of reaction to the same chemo drugs, and I spoke with her the other night. My conversation with her the other night has been in the back of my mind since this has happened to me. She gave me hope that I will be able to tolerate the drug and get through the treatment just like she did, no matter how long it takes. It really helps to know of someone who has been through this and get their advice and opinions.

I just got off the phone with Dr. Charlson, and he gave me reassurance that we need to try one more time. Taxotere is the better drug for me, and like I am thinking he said it is reasonable to try again and see what happens. He will give me more premeds and slow the drip, and we will cross our fingers, pray to God and whomever else is the patron saints of chemotherapy and health ( is there one??? LOL) and hope my body tolerates the drugs.

Chemo is scheduled for 9 am tommorrow morning. I will know relatively shortly after infusion starts if this will work...... stay tuned for more...... the saga continues........ I hope I can sleep tonight! :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Chemo decisions????

I spoke with my onc this morning and after a very lengthy discussion and discussing my options I opted to try the Taxotere treatment again with more steroids and some other premeds. As the day went on I am now doubting that this is what I should do. My other option is to switch to a completely different drug, Adriamycin. With Adriamycin there is a 1% risk of the drug causing some heart damage. Heart damage meaning that the way the valves work pumping out the blood is changed. For most people this is something that will resolve itself after treatments. But there is also the chance years down the road that there could be heart damage. A heart scan (MUGGA) scan is done before the chemo is even started and then after chemo treatments are done. The heart is monitored during the chemo treatments. If for any reason the heart appears damaged the chemo is then stopped. It is a risk, but then again, am I not taking a risk by having a toxic chemical dumped in my body.
Here are my thoughts....should I risk another reaction and possibly another treatment that won't work due to a reaction and then switch or do I just switch to the other drug, take the risk, and go on with treatment #2. My onc said I would only get 3 total treatments of Adriamycin, the next one will be a lesser dose due to the fact that I had a 1/4 of the Taxotere from Friday. He also said the only real problem I may have with Adriamycin is more nausea, and there are lots of drugs to counteract that. I guess the one question I need to ask my oncologist is, what is the benefit to trying the Taxotere again??? I am not sure at this point I want to risk another reaction, possibly worse, and then switch to another drug. I need to sleep on this one. Another Benadryl is in order for tonight. LOL Ohhhh someone please make the decision for meeeeee!

I went to the Look Good Feel Better class sponsered by the American Cancer Society today at Froedert. It is a free class for all women going through cancer treatments.
It is definitely a nice class to take during all of this nonsense and you leave with a huge array of some great cosmetics. (Natalie was ooohhhing and ahhhing at some of the makeup, and I told her not to get any ideas, it was all mine). I then went to my monthly nail appointment and then headed home for the day.

I will be making a call to my oncologist tomorrow morning to pick his brain some more and hopefully reach a decision. If we are to switch drugs, I need to have a MUGGA scan first, so treatment may not be until the end of the week. If I am going to try the Taxotere again, treatment will be this Wednesday. Stay tuned for more............