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Short-lived September 17, 2018

Posted by Judy in Musings.

I win the prize for the shortest remission ever!  Just 2 short months!  My last chemo was July 5th.  A month later, I had a bunch of scans that pretty much showed a good response to the therapy and a good remission.  A month after that, I started having all over bone pain and discomfort in my lungs and trouble with getting winded.  I knew something was up then and that was the end of remission.

I’ve spent the past 2.5 weeks working with my oncologist trying to track down the cause of the new pains.  This has been made more difficult by the insurance company denying the PET scan request.  Their reason?  I’d just had a CT scan which already showed that I had metastatic disease.  (Duh, we already know that!)  Getting another type of scan would not give new information.  I beg to differ, though.  If I’m going to have pinpointed radiation to deal with the bone pain, we need to know where the cancer is, hence the need for the PET scan.   (Insert giant eye roll.)  The insurance company said, “No, no, no-no-no-no!”  So aggravating!  So instead, my doctor and I are going to play the game.  I’m going to have another CT scan and a bone scan (even though the bone scans are nigh unto useless), in hopes that the results will be inconclusive and that maybe they will approve a PET scan.  It’s so dumb that we have to play these silly games!

Anyway, so while we were waiting for the scan foolishness to get worked out, I decided that I wanted to get a chest x-ray, just to get SOME information.  I had the x-ray today, after which the tech said “Perla, you are in my thoughts and prayers, dear.” which left me thinking she must’ve seen some bad news.  And she did.  The fluid is building back up in my pleural space (pleural effusion) and there is evidence “concerning for metastatic disease” in the lung.  As soon as the doc saw the results, he asked that I come in right away for a visit.  There, he decided that he wants me to start another chemo right away.  It’s called Taxol, it’s once a week, and is much gentler than the AC combo I went through this summer.  Even though I’m approved through the manufacturer for the immunotherapy, doc said he can’t count on that working as it’s an experimental drug, which is why I’m starting the new chemo.  Ideally, he’d like me to do both, stating that some studies have shown the efficacy of the medications increases when chemo is combined with immunotherapy.

So, that’s where I am for now.  I’m waiting to get scheduled sometime this week to start chemo and immunotherapy.  I’ll be having a CT scan on Thursday, and hopefully a bone scan sometime this week before I see the doc again next Monday.  I know some of you might see this as bad news, and I suppose it sort of is since the disease is progressing.  But, I’m feeling pretty good, actually.  I have a partial answer for what is wrong and we have a plan.  Let’s do this!


1. Jess - September 18, 2018

Praying for strength to overcome in all things- He is with you.

2. Jen - September 18, 2018

I’m so sorry, Perla, that your remission was so quick, but I’m relieved to hear you’ve got an awesome doctor who thinks creatively and is working so hard for you. Here’s to a short-lived rearing of cancer’s ugly head so you can head right back into remission! Cheers!

3. Hosanna - September 18, 2018

I admire your bravery. I support you fully.

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