August 20, 2022. This was a big week. I had my PET/CT scans on Tuesday, and saw one of Dr. Rugo’s nurse practitioners, Gretchen, on Wednesday (Rugo participated via text messaging) to discuss next steps.
Based on the results of my scans, I’ve been taken off Xeloda. The good news is that my hands and feet can start healing…they’ve never been worse. And the other side effects I’ve been experiencing should start diminishing. The not so good news is that they took me off Xeloda because it isn’t working. The largest nodule in my right lung doubled in size and the number of additional nodules increased. As you can imagine, it was not the news we were hoping to hear.
I will start a new therapy in a few weeks after my oncology team determines which therapy (yes, we have options) might be the best weapon as we continue my war against recurrent metastatic TNBC (trip negative breast cancer). I will either be taking infusions (immunotherapy combined with chemotherapy), or a pill targeting a specific antigen.
Speaking of antigens, my tumor marker went up for the third blood draw in a row. It was 14.5 in April and then dropped to 11.8 in May. I thought perhaps I had rounded the curve. I expected June’s to be even lower. Wrong. In June it jumped to 16.5, and 18.2 this month. Clearly the Xeloda wasn’t working the way we had hoped.
So standby for next steps. You’ll know when I know.
In the meantime, I’m feeling good and enjoying life on the mountain, spending good times with family and friends.
Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think. — Benjamin Disraeli