June 6, 2016

Recovery and Biopsy

We have been back in Calgary since May 21st. I have been meaning to write an update sooner but, I think, one of the targeted radiation side effects is writer's block... Or it could be the extreme fatigue and endless appointments. I came back in time for my next immunotherapy treatment. With the Gammaknife treatment, medications, and immunotherapy, the side effects are abundant: fatigue, sleepiness, insomnia, hair loss (good thing I have lots of hair), increased appetite followed by lack of appetite, moodiness, bone and muscle pain, etc. It has certainly slowed me down but I do hope to get back to my activities soon.

One week after our return from Chicago, my mom and aunt visited to pamper us. It was fantastic having them here:). We will be chore-free for quite some time. Our freezer is stocked with yummy food. The garden is set up for summer blossoms. Where do they find the energy? We were so grateful for their visit and were really sad to see them go. Thanks mom and aunt K! Love you so much! 

On the latest health news, recent CT chest and abdomen scans showed mild growth in the lung tumours and a few new bone lesions on my spine. My oncologist is not yet ready to give up on immunotherapy so we proceed for a few more rounds. In the meantime, we met with a new radiation oncologist, upon our request, who is open to reconsidering SRS treatment of my largest lung tumour, any bone lesions causing pain, and monitoring (possibly retreating if I am eligible) the Gammaknife effects on my brain lesions. We appreciated his open-mindedness and progressive thinking; a huge improvement from the depressing and negative Dr. S. 

And, yesterday morning, I got the call to prepare for another lung biopsy. We have been asking Dr. B (my medical oncologist) about retesting for mutations to see if any new targeted-therapy drugs would benefit me. I was at the hospital for 6 hours today, June 15th. This being my third lung biopsy in 3 years, I knew what to expect. The worst part was coughing up blood as the tissue samples were being taken. That was a new experience. And, not gonna lie, it scared me. It is a normal occurrence during and after a lung biopsy so I had no reason to worry. It didn't help that I was exhausted. So now, we are currently arranging to get a sample of this newly biopsied tissue sent to Foundation One, an American company that tests for over 300+ mutations. Fingers are crossed that they find mutations that have available, proven effective treatments! 

We appreciate all the positive thoughts, prayers, healing energy and good vibes being sent my way. I'm sorry if I haven't replied personally to your emails, calls or texts. We are grateful for all your support. Thank you!!! So let's all hope that Foundation One has some good news for me in the weeks to come. I would also love a break from all these appointments, side effects, procedures and treatments. Frankly, it's all taking a toll on me...

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