I will begin this post with my most proud moment since my diagnosis. Lately, even if I don’t eat a lot the scale (and the fit of my clothing) has told me I am gaining weight. I have gained back the weight I lost before chemo started and, while this seems fine with the rest of the people in my life, I am very disappointed. I know the weight loss was not done in a healthy manner –not being able to eat or keep what is eaten down is not a diet plan–but things were fitting better and I was feeling more confident. I want to get back down to the weight I was before chemotherapy started. My first task was to identify the problems: lethargy had caused me to become a couch potato, lack of motivation prevented me from doing anything about it, bad eating habits (brought on by the ability to barely eat but the need for calories) had continued despite my new-found ability to keep food down…these were all controlled by me. However, the one other issue causing the influx of pounds is not something I control. It’s the dexamethasone they give me before my chemo to help prevent nausea.
This is a problem. Dexamethasone can cause weight gain and fluid retention. Well, hello there other cause of my issues. It also increases appetite (rotten bastard!) No wonder I am packing on pounds! Well, no more. This morning, despite a sore throat (I think I might be getting sick) and the lack of desire to get out of bed, I awoke and popped in one of my old workout DVDs. It’s a Jillian Michaels DVD that had kicked my butt when I was working out more regularly, so I didn’t assume I would get through it all today either. I was right; I completed about two-thirds of it before I started to shake and feel nauseous. Still, I worked out –cardio and weights!– which is a big improvement for me. I’m going to try to do this three days a week to add to my two days of walking to Milo’s work in attempt to take off the pounds. Otherwise I’m going to need bigger pants.
Spurred on by this motivation, and Milo’s prodding, I phoned Dr. Brook’s office. After calling Dr. Brooks on Friday and speaking to him briefly, I was left with the ever so suspenseful job of waiting. When two business days had passed and I still hadn’t heard back from him, I realized there might be a problem. Dr. Brooks, as sweet as he is, tends to also be a little forgetful sometimes and needs reminding; he admitted as much when he gave me his cell phone number to call him. This time he only partially forgot.
Apparently, he was waiting to get the two tests back and thought that I had an appointment with him this week, so he wasn’t planning on calling. When I left the message for him, it made him check the schedule to realize that I would not be seeing him…at all since I am not scheduled. He phoned to tell me the results of the PI3K were normal, which means I did not qualify for that trial. The second test, the C-Met, was a borderline result. With no opening in that trial and no certainty that my results would mean benefit from the trial drugs, we were left only with the option of starting more chemo. Yay?
This week I’ll apparently have another MRI to see if the tumors are stabilized. Starting next Friday –yes, the one before Christmas– I will receive a ninety minute infusion of irinotecan. This will be on an every-other-week basis with no end date as of yet. Based on my reaction to the drug, I might be able to go back to floor nursing and my life in general. I suppose we’ll determine that after a dose or two. Lethargy hasn’t been as much of an issue lately and I am hoping that means if I can get my strength back up that I can go back to the unit and my soccer team. I love the people I am doing the desk work for, but this is not really what I trained to do. I don’t want my skills to slip, especially since I want to start school to become a nursing instructor.
So that’s the plan. Back to the world of antineoplastics (chemotherapy drugs) and as needed medication to prevent a host of side effects. Joy.