Last week I had my monthly follow up with the oncologist. Unfortunately, my tumor markers have risen significantly and the results from my CT and ultrasound, both taken when I was recently in the hospital due to my blocked ureter/kidney, show tumor growth in my liver, pancreas tail and peritoneum…all the problem areas we have known about and have been tracking for some time now.
All this taken together strongly suggests the TAS is at best only partially helpful, that is, if it is doing anything at all, it is likely slowing the cancer’s growth to a small extent.
The next treatment option is Mitomycin C, a more “traditional” chemo that I’ve tried once before. (I had one treatment before starting the TAS-102.) My oncologist is willing to put me on it, if I want. But I don’t, just yet, as I don’t want to deal with the side effects at this time.
The good news is that I continue to feel relatively OK. I have been having some increased pain, but I have the meds to deal with that.
The good doctor also called a colleague of hers at Tel Hashomer hospital to see if they have any studies, or there are any others going on here in Israel about which I should know. Not at this time…
Taking all this into account, we’ve made the decision that I will continue with TAS-102 for another cycle and, assuming my symptoms don’t get any worse, we will continue with it. If things do get worse, I will immediately stop the TAS and we will reevaluate.
So right now the focus is on having a great High Holy Day season (almost here!), focusing on that which I enjoy – family, friends, work – and, as always, managing my symptoms.
Speaking of enjoying myself, my aunt and uncle just arrived for a week’s visit and we spent this past Shabbat in Jerusalem at a dear friend’s Bar Mitzvah. What an amazing way to counteract my Thursday appointment!
The arrival of my aunt and uncle also marks the start of visiting season that will include visits from my in-laws and both my siblings! It will be busy over the coming six weeks, but it will be a “good” busy. I’m really looking forward to it!