Quick summary of this week:
Monday– found out that my cancer is “stable”, meaning that it has not grown in over 8 weeks, and the largest tumor in my lung has arguably begun to shrink.
Wednesday– started immunotherapy using a chemical cocktail that is supposed to have limited or no side effects, at least not until 6-9 weeks, in for most people.
Wednesday night- had a raging headache, and felt “unusual”. Not really nauseous, but not right. Had what might be considered night sweats.
Thursday- left work at 3pm with headache, tiredness, and felt a little feverish. Went to bed at 3:30, slept for 4 hours, Back to bed before 10, and slept another 9 hours. Fever broke during the night with extreme sweating.
Friday– Not feverish, but really exhausted. Ran a few errands, which wore me out. Worked from home, which wore me out. Took a 2 hour nap. Night sweats, soaked my sheets. Finished the night sleeping between beach towels.
Saturday– (today) More of the same.
I am coughing, out of breath easily, have chills, food/drinks taste funny. I had cancer 26 years ago, and took really hard chemo. I have been assured by docs and patients alike that immunotherapy is nothing like chemo.
· Is what I am experiencing symptoms of the cancer? (I have been asymptomatic until this week, and it is supposed to be quieting down.)
· Is it reaction to the immunotherapy drugs (Yervoy & Opdivo)?
· Is it psychosomatic (association with my former chemo experience)?
· Is the devil messing with me? (The devil is a toad.) (Apologies to toads)
· Did I pick up a virus from someone at the clinic? (Didn’t touch anyone, and none in my area looked sick.)
If you have answers or suggestions, I would love to hear them.
I am told that 70% of people on the drugs I am taking have no side-effects. Bummer for me. I am also told that cancers for 60% of the people given these drugs do not respond. If I am in the 30% that get side-effects, can I also be in the 40% whose cancers respond? Seems fair.
I am preaching tomorrow: “Why I am asking God for 7 more years of ministry”, with a goal of calling us all to examine where our hope lies. I am concerned that I won’t be able to finish because I am so exhausted. Please pray for me.
Steve, standing in the need of prayer (as usual)