More chemo ahead :(

For 6 weeks I took the hormone blocker, Letrozole, hoping and wishing for improvement but actually feeling gradually worse.

Sometimes pain (usually at night) made me worry. Will the tumours grow too big for chemo to shrink them? Will rogue DNA travel from the tumours to affect other organs? Am I worrying enough? Am I worrying too much?

On good days I felt fabulous and made the most of every moment. Most days have been good.

Today at the specialist I learned that my CA125 blood marker has risen to 116, indicating that Letrozole probably isn't working, so more chemotherapy is recommended. I'll probably start on Caelyx in a couple of weeks' time. It is a non-platinum drug, to give me a longer break from the platinum chemo. Also, I may be eligible to join a research trial of Caelyx paired with another agent, Trabectedin. It's a phase 3 trial of a very promising treatment. This means it is safe and has benefited many women before but they just need more evidence before it can be approved by the FDA. I'm still waiting to hear if I qualify.

I feel like I'm in the tumble machine again with the full range of emotions, including

  • relieved to stop taking ineffectual pills and start on something that works

  • disappointed that I didn't get longer free time. It's only a year since I finished my last chemo and in the last 6 months I've had symptoms and other treatment including surgery.

  • grateful for having been well enough to enjoy life and it has been great to feel more settled too. This is the first time I'm contemplating chemo without also wondering where we will live and having to do serious packing and travel

  • hopeful that I can have the new trial drug. No one says it will be a cure, but I can't help hoping!

  • wondering how many activities I'll have to cancel as I've got so many plans for the next few months

  • very sad about a friend who is gravely ill – another ovarian cancer patient. Losing friends to this disease is obviously the greatest downer!

… and more!

This is a brief update while I wade through the paperwork and find out which chemo drugs I'll be having. Then I'll write a bit more about what is happening to me…

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12 thoughts on “More chemo ahead :(”

  1. This is not the news we were hoping for . Keep going Alison and let's hope a cure is around the corner. Your positive attitude will see you through again.

  2. Sad news Alison. but while your alive and kicking there is always hope. Cancer medicine is moving so fast at present. You are a very strong positive person and that makes things much better.i have another friend who was diagnosed with terminal lung brain and lymph system cancer who was approved for a trial of a very expensive new drug and after 3 weeks he is showing considerable improvement. It is a drug which apparentlty stimulates your immune system to kill the cancer cells. totally different to the immune system suppression of traditional cancer chemo therapy. hugs ands kisses and good vibes from me love Doug Kelly

  3. So sorry you have to keep going through this but that trial sounds promising. Especially as it's a ways along and they've had the chance to iron out the wrinkles ,so to speak. Your a real hero in my eyes Alison and I have no doubt you'll conquer this damn thing.

  4. Hi Alison, so sorry to hear about more chemo on the way; you just need to keep going until the right treatment for you is available. Meanwhile I hope you have minimum side effects and maximum effect against those pesky tumours so you can enjoy most of your regular activities.. Much love, Danni

  5. Dear Alison, Your resilience and insight continue to stagger us. Thinking of you and much love from Maine, Helen

  6. Thank you for keeping us posted Ali x sending love and energy your way. What is happening with this blush wood tree stuff here in Yungy?? They were testing it on animals last I heard with miraculous results x x x So glad you are settled at least.

  7. Sorry to hear the news. Easier said then done I know but try not to worry too much. Hoping you get accepted for the trial and that your treatment goes well. Keep smiling. My thoughts are with you. xx

  8. I'm very sad that you are going through all of this but grateful that your specialist is so diligent. We are thinking of you. All our love. XX

  9. Keep strong Alison. It's always a roller coaster but you are more positive than negative so always a step in front. Thinking and staying strong with you. Love Gina

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