Monday, March 31, 2014

Surgery successful, ready for chemo tomorrow

Flowers from the staff at Hammond Henry.
Mom made it through the port-installation surgery this morning just fine. Dr. Atwell ended up putting it on the right side of her chest...he had mentioned maybe putting it back on the left side again before they took her into surgery, but it didn't work out that way.

Dr. Atwell also removed a lump from the right side of her neck. Not really sure what it is, and the nurses sent it to the pathology lab so they can analyze it. Dr. Atwell didn't seem to be concerned about it and mom was glad it was out as it had been bothersome. It had been there since last summer so they decided to give her a 2-for-1 on the surgical procedures today.

They should have the results in a couple of days.

Other than some soreness, mom will be ready for her first dose of chemo tomorrow.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Chemo, round 4 with Doxil

Yesterday Dr. Porubcin shared Thursday's scan results with mom. Apparently there is quite a bit of growth in her lymph nodes compared to her last scan. Compound that with her elevated CA125 and therefore she will be starting chemo on April 1.

Dr. P recommends doing Doxil again. She will be on a 4 week schedule and will have it for the next several months. There is not a concern that the drug will run out - one of the head nurses in the office said the company straightened out all of the distribution issues.

The worst side effect of the Doxil is how it wears down her skin tissue - so the areas where there is a lot of friction (feet, hands) need a lot of care. She still has issues from the Doxil from the last round she had a couple of years ago, so I don't know if this round will be worse or the same. The "Udderly Smooth" cream seems to help a lot - so if everyone wants to start sending her some tubes that would be great! She also needs to wear a lot of sunscreen as the Doxil makes her skin very sensitive to the sun.

Mom is also going to have another chest port put in on March 31. Even though she just had her other one removed in December, she wants to go that route and not have a pic line in her arm. The surgeon (Dr. Atwell at Hammond Henry) can put it in the right side of her chest and make it work.

Mom is down about the whole scenario as she was hoping to get through the summer but Dr. Porubcin feels that the sooner she starts on the chemo regimen, the better. The cancer is being a little more active than he would prefer, so it's best to nip it in the bud now. Keeping the cancer down is the priority!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Three month check-in

Mom had an appointment with Dr. Porubcin last Thursday and also had her normal blood work done the week before. Her CA125 has shot up quite a bit (to over 100) and they had her do another test just to check and confirm. The second test also came back with the CA125 at 118, so Mom is scheduled for a scan next week. Dr. Porubcin wants to see if it shows anything (a growth..?...) and then he will determine what to do from there.

We knew at some point that Mom would have to go back on chemo - hence the check up appointments to keep tabs on the cancer and catch it before it gets carried away again. The cancer is always there and we know that, so we just have to keep it down...which shouldn't be hard to do. Mom had a nice long stretch without a chemo regimen for the last year - two years actually - and the unfortunate part is that we knew that eventually chemo would be in the picture again.