12th Chemo Treatment Tomorrow and some changes…

Tomorrow will be Steve’s 12th Chemo treatment and his last one for this 6 month set.  We thought 6 months actually went till January but nope, it’s done tomorrow.  But that just means it’s time to change it up a bit.

Currently Steve is receiving the FOLFOX cocktail of chemotherapy which consists of 5-FU, Leucovorin, and Oxaliplatin.  I am slowly learning about each of these drugs.  The 5-FU is the one that was causing the mouth sores and is also the one that he gets on a slow drip for the 48 hours at home.  You may recall that in October he reduced that one by 15% to hopefully stop the mouth sores – and it worked!  We’ve checked his CEA number once since the reduction and it stayed the same at 11.  But the doctor says that is good so we are happy.

Now that his first 6 months of chemo is coming to a completion, we talked with the Oncologist today and he explained the next step to us.  After tomorrow, Steve will no longer receive the Oxaliplatin in his cocktail of chemotherapy.  This can only be administered for 12 treatments and after that he has to stop for a while.  The reason being, as he explained, is this is the drug that is responsible for the Neuropathy – numbness, burning, or tingling in the fingers, toes, hands, feet, mouth, or throat – which is what he has been experiencing from the cold.  After too long, it becomes permanent which then causes a whole bunch of other issues.  They won’t purposely let that happen so they only allow so much of this drug.

So beginning Christmas Eve (yes, Christmas Eve) Steve will begin the next part – 10 treatments without the Oxaliplatin.

Of course my first thought and question was will the chemo still work without the Oxaliplatin?  The doctor told us in most cases, it still works the same in reducing the tumors for a while.  And of course in others it doesn’t.  But we have no reason to think that it won’t work.  I asked him (of course!) what happens if it doesn’t work.  He said they won’t go back to giving him the Oxaliplatin but they will use other drugs.  There are a lot of other drugs they can use besides the Oxaliplatin.  And at some point down the road, they may be able to use it again, but not for a while.

Steve is thrilled because this means the tingling in his hands and feet will be going away!  And he should be thrilled because I know it’s not fun and with the cold weather coming, it was only going to get worse.

But I will be honest, thinking about changing things up scares me a bit. Why change it if it’s working. But this is going to constantly change, I just wasn’t expecting it so quickly. But it doesn’t scare Steve so I need to take that cue from him and go with it.

Tomorrow when they access the port, they are going to draw blood first so they can check his CEA number.  It’s been a few cycles since we’ve had an update on that so we are glad they are doing it.  And his next CT Scan is scheduled for December 19th.  Then we will go back to the Oncologist to get the results from that on December 23rd.

I’m glad we will get the results of the CT Scans before the holiday because I do believe they will be positive so it’ll be nice to know and celebrate how wonderful he’s doing and to especially celebrate having him with us this Christmas.

I was reminded today that we still have a long road ahead of us, but I’m grateful to be going down that road with my husband and having the possibility of having him here when they come up with a cure for Stage 4 Colon Cancer.  Because I believe they will some day.

When we get the results of his CEA number and the CT Scan we will update the site again.

Thanks again for all your calls, emails, texts, thoughts, well wishes and prayers over the last 6 months.  Steve and I truly feel blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives.  And Steve loves how he’s reconnected with some friends on a more regular basis.  Friends that had slipped away because of busy lives.  It really taught us all to slow down and take more time to get in touch with and spend time with those we care about and love.  Even if it’s only 5 minutes.

I’ve really pushed back on my blog so I can spend more time with Steve and the girls.  And to allow me to enjoy taking care of the things that make my family happy.  I also have become more involved with the girls school which really makes them happy.  ( and I enjoy it too!) Time is more precious to me than it has ever been.  And for those of you that really know me, you all know how much I’ve loved working on my blog the past 6 years and all the wonderful travel opportunities it’s brought me and still is.  I’m by no means letting it go but I’m putting my time where it’s needed, when it’s needed and it’s really helped relieve a lot of my stress at times.  I’m trying to find the things that make me happy, and do those.

We may not see you all over the next few weeks, but we do wish you all a wonderful holiday season with lots of love and joy.  Make sure you spend it with those you love and hug them a little tighter when you see them. And make sure what you are doing with your life, makes you happy.  Because none of us know what tomorrow will bring.  xoxoxo

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