At my pre-chemo session with Dr S on Tuesday I turned up with my usual list of questions. As I had spent several hours on Thursday in Acute Oncology having X-rays, more blood tests, and various other examinations and tests due to several days of having more pain in my digestive tract than usual, I wanted to check out a number of things about the results. All the tests I had there revealed there was nothing seriously wrong, and so the doctor there had been happy for me to return home.
The good news was that the pancreatic cancer biomarker (CA 19-9) had reduced from 17,000 to 9,500 which was a good sign. I also wanted to know where he thought the cancer might eventually spread to, as I needed to prepare for the possibility of not being competent to make decisions if it spread to my brain. He could not be certain, but said he would expect it to stay pretty much in my abdomen given my cancer history so far.
Then Dr S raised the issue of his thinking it would be good idea to slightly reduce the dosage of all four drugs I was taking, due to how exhausted, depleted and dreadful I felt post-chemo. He described it as my wanting to roll into my coffin already. We talked about that. I do appreciate our conversations, as Dr S doesn’t try and sugar coat his answers and is open and honest with me. When he doesn’t know the answer to one of my out of the ordinary questions he tells me where I can get the answer, eg the cost of the chemo drugs.
So today I had my fourth chemo session with a 20% reduction of the dose of each of the three drugs, as well as a 20% reduction in the dosage of the capecitabine tablets I take twice a day. I had lots of support throughout the day from family and a very special friend. I lapped up their love and their willingness to visit me in the Oncology chemo day-stay ward.
Here’s hoping that I will not feel so awful over the next few days.