On Monday I took my mother in for her monthly treatment of maintenance-dose chemo-lite plus a bone-strengthening medication. We always see the doctor first and he had the results from the PET scan she’d had last week. (One which he’d ordered back in June, but which had been denied by the insurance company, thus necessitating filing an appeal before it was accepted). The results were not good. Her cancer is back and this time it’s widespread: spine, skull, clavicle, liver… other places I can’t recall. So he wanted to immediately begin a new regimen of treatment, but they didn’t have the drug he wanted to use.
Since her veins are objecting to being stuck as much as they have been, we decided to come back Tuesday when the medication would be available and do both infusions with one “stick.” The drip of the new drug was so slow (to prevent allergic reaction) it took three hours. She’s also scheduled to have a portacath inserted before we go back next week for the doctor to check her white blood cell count. She seems to be handling it well. At least as well as can be expected. I was in a sort of shock for half the day on Monday, because while I expected the cancer would return, I didn’t think it would be quite this soon. Even though this is about the same length of time that passed the last time she had treatment and apparent remission and then a recurrence. Of course with the PET scan having been initially denied, we don’t know what the situation was when she ended treatment last summer, but she did enjoy a couple of months of feeling pretty good before things started to go downhill again.
This time we’ll go in every three weeks for the chemo. My biggest concern is her weight. She’s lost thirty pounds since this all began and she doesn’t have much more to lose, but it is extremely difficult to get her to eat when she’s not feeling well. It doesn’t help that she’s a vegetarian who doesn’t eat milk-products, because that makes it harder to slip in high protein/calorie mini meals — people keep suggesting a milkshake but she doesn’t drink milk. Or soy milk. And doesn’t like Rice milk. I’ve offered to come over and cook some meals for her and if she takes me up on it, that might help. We’ll just see how it goes.
So, to anyone who feels led, your prayers would be appreciated.