Not in a suitable condition for proceeding or functioning properly: The infusion treatment was no-go.
That is what today was – a no-go. I was supposed to be going in for infusion treatment #4, but I knew going in it wasn’t going to happen. Some of you know last Tuesday I broke out in a rash from elbows to knees. We are fairly sure it’s from the immunotherapy treatment and it is one of the known side effects of Keytruda. In order to alleviate the rash I’ve been taking 60mg of prednisone every day this past week. Unfortunately the maximum allowable dose, to stay on the clinical trial, is 10mg. So this week I will be weened off of the prednisone with the hope of continuing treatment next Tuesday.
In addition to this minor setback; I have a sore on my back at one of the incision sites from the video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) I had in January for the lung biopsy. The sore has been very slowly getting more irritated and more annoying. The rest of Dr. Pishvaian’s team has been aware of it but (since he as on vacation) I brought it more to his attention yesterday, stating in an email, “my cancer heightened hypochondria is thinking it’s more than a boo boo.” Looking at it today he grimly told me he thinks my assessment is correct. While there a lot of arguments about needle biopsies and whether the retraction of the needle can pull cancer cells along behind it, basically “seeding” the cancer, Dr. Pishvaian thinks that’s what may have happened. Without a biopsy we can’t know for sure but visually it certainly looks like it is. I asked him how he would normally handle it and he said systemically and once again recommended Folfox.
In asking about next Tuesday I needed to know if I should get the full study blood work done and then go get the chest x-ray he wanted. He wants to see if there is any fluid building up in my lung since last Tuesday. He threw me off a bit when he said he wanted me to get the x-ray first and then come see him. Based on the x-ray he said we’d have to see if I went up stairs for treatment or it would be time to discuss going back on to Folfox.
Given the conversations we’ve had the last few meetings I know he doesn’t believe the immunotherapy is working this time around. I’m pretty sure (knowing the joy I experience on chemotherapy) he’s trying to build a case for me to accept the need to go back on to it. He’s been hedging that direction for over a month now and while I detest the idea I think it may be time to once again get medieval with my treatment. I sent him an email, after getting back from the hospital this morning, stating as much. If Folfox is what’s needed I’d rather get with it than pussy foot around another couple of weeks.
I’m at peace with what ever decision he makes, but as always, I would greatly appreciate your prayers for he and I to be making the best decision.