Yesterday was blood work and consultation with the Oncologist prior to chemotherapy scheduled for today. This would be the fourth and final session in this treatment cycle. We attended the clinic and had the blood work drawn and then waited to meet with the Oncologist. Previously, after the third session of chemo, the Oncologist had reviewed a CT scan taken at that time and had given my husband very positive feedback but had identified a potential infection in his lungs. Since that time, my husband had been for repeat CT scan to see if the pleural effusion in his lungs had cleared up as a result of the antibiotics he had been prescribed.
Again, yesterday’s results and discussion with the Oncologist remained quite positive. The pleural effusion has not cleared up completely but has reduced slightly. This led the Oncologist to believe that perhaps what was happening in my husband’s lungs was actually a reaction to the chemotherapy. Based on that, and on the fact that my husband’s physical response after three sessions of chemo was likely to be optimal, we considered whether a fourth session would provide any benefit, or if in fact, it could present risk.
We were presented with two options. First, my husband could have his fourth session of chemo as scheduled (today), after which they would enrol him in a maintenance program where he would get a small infusion of chemotherapy every three weeks. The second option was that he could stand down from his chemo treatment, with no oncology treatments for two months. At the end of this period he would have a CT scan and blood work to determine the status of the cancer in his lungs/bones, and an appointment with Oncology. With the first option he would remain immune-compromised, however, Oncology would have close scrutiny of the status of his disease. With the second option he would be required to self-monitor and advise Oncology if anything was presenting that could show the disease was back in action prior to his two month appointment. Needless to say, he elected to go with option two, and consequently he was able to have his picc line removed.
For us this is a slight reprieve. We have an opportunity to make serious modifications to lifestyle and diet. We have two months to continue to work towards improving my husband’s health. My goal has always been to make him “that guy.” The one the Oncologist will reference at the discussion table when considering what the optimal outcome is. The guy that beats the odds or pushes the boundary just that much further. Whether he will be that guy or not remains to be seen, however, we will explore all options and research thoroughly what is available.
Our first objective – switch to an alkaline diet.