Fighting cancer is like riding a roller coaster. You have your ups and downs, you have moments of fear and you have instances of exuberance. In my cancer world, the latest moment of exuberance came with my latest CEA cancer marker number, now down to 3.5! After rising for two months in a row it’s back down to almost normal (3.4). This indicates that it is likely my new chemo cocktail is working. We will have a confirming scan in a couple of weeks. In the meantime this was a call for celebration!
But then there are the downs. As Lee reported in her last post, I visited the ER due to a rather persistent (8 hour) nose bleed. I don’t think Lee reported the “high” point of that episode, the cocaine they gave me 😆 to stop the bleeding. The doctor laughed when I asked for a prescription. The “downer”didn’t come untill yesterday when I had the followup appointment with the ENT doctor. He took one look at the inside of my nose and proclaimed “You have a major problem.” The mucous lining of my nose was almost gone. If it goes, then my septum would perforate which would dry out the cartilage in my nose and cause it to collapse. The rest of my life would be filled with pain, disfigurement and nose bleeds. Oh how wonderful!
One of the side effects of my chemo cocktail is mucositis. This is inflammation of the mucosa, the rapidly growing moist tissues of the GI tract including your mouth, nose, stomach and guts. The most common variety of mucositis happens in the form of mouth sores and bloody noses. In my case it increased the sensitivity in my mouth (but no sores), caused nose bleeds and, oh, destroyed my nasal lining. The good news is that the lining can rejuvenate. Of course that requires I cease to use those chemo drugs that caused this, as well has do some topical treatments to my nasal passages. Today, I dropped two of the three chemo drugs I was taking. So we shall see how the tumor control goes with a less substantial amount of poison. The good news is that I jettisoned the drug that requires the 46-hour infusion via a pump that is attached to me for those stinking 46 hours. Yippie!
Regardless of the ups, downs and all arounds of cancer treatment; life, love and fun continues at the Asbell household. My artwork is featured as “Artist of the Month” at Quail Creek and Lee and I enjoyed the 101st anniversary of the Sonoita Horse Races coinciding with the Kentucky Derby.