Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Starting Chemotherapy

Now that all the kids and family members are back home and out joint Thanksgiving-Christmas celebration has ended, Sabine will begin oral chemotherapy today which is a combination of daily Revlimid (10 mg) and weekly dexamethasone (40 mg) .

This will put me on alert this week watching for side-effects and any other problems.

We would ask for your prayers that Sabine can not only tolerate this therapy, but that it would be successful!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chemotherapy Begins Again

Let me begin by wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Despite battling cancer, we have much to be thankful!

In Dr Sheehan's office with an early Christmas celebration!
Now onto the news:  For twelve weeks now we have been watching the cancer numbers slowly rise.  We met with Dr Sheehan yesterday and we decided the best course of action now was to launch another offensive against the cancer. 

So, starting next week, Sabine will begin to take an oral chemotherapy regimen of Revlimid and Dexamethasone.  We will do blood work in two weeks to check for negative effects on her blood chemistry and report back to Dr Sheehan two weeks after this.

While this is a setback, we are thankful that we have a number of "arrows" in our quiver to fight cancer.  Thankfully, Revilmid is one of them.  And we even have a few more if Sabine's cancer becomes resistant to Revilmid.

I will be watching out for any negative physical side effects as we go forward.

Yesterday, we held our family Thanksgiving-Christmas celebration which was originally schedule to coincide with daughter Yumi's leave from Afghanistan.  But due to Matt's death, she had to come home early and missed today's celebration.  But we all held her in our thoughts and prayers as we came together around the family table and gave thanks for the love and restoration we have all experienced this year!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Numbers!

We just received Sabine's "cancer numbers" this morning: Free Lambda Light Chains -- 133 mg/L).  While the numbers are increasing, they aren't exploding.  Twelve weeks ago we spotted the increase in our periodic blood tests.  Since that time, they have slowly been increasing and are now at the point Sabine was AFTER her first two rounds of chemotherapy.  We see our oncologist next Wednesday and will probably continue the "watching" or perhaps have to go on some form of chemotherapy.  We will see.  In the meantime, the rest of Sabine's blood work looks great and she continues her usual upbeat attitude and daily exercise.  As I told the folks at the cancer forum we attended this past summer, "Living with Mary Poppins is a real challenge for caregivers!"

So far, so good.  And, yes, life is still good! 

Thanks be to God!

Friday, November 12, 2010

On Alert

In a couple of weeks, just before Thanksgiving, we return to Dr Sheehan for another checkup.  It has been 6 weeks since the last time we saw him.  As many of you will remember, earlier this summer the cancer returned with heightened "numbers."  Six weeks ago the increase was happening, but not rapidly.  Soon we will find out what our next step is?  Chemotherapy? Or more "watching and waiting" for another 6 weeks?

For the past four weeks we have been monitoring a persistent cough that Sabine has acquired.  On Monday she went in to urgent care and had an xray taken.  The doc thought he heard something in her lungs and ordered an xray.  Doxycycline (an antibiotic) was prescribed.  At first they thought the xray was clear, then called us back because of something suspicious.  Sabine's primary car doc then scheduled another xray at the end of this month.  Waiting.

Of course the question we have is whether or not this lung thing is a result of the cancer or is it something else?  Sabine continues regular exercise and seems her old perky self.  That's good.

But caregivers like me watch their loved ones like a hawk.  Not wanting to frighten them but being careful and watchful.  We have seen too many in our cancer support group deteriorate and deteriorate quickly.  I am not alarmed.  But I remain on alert!