Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kathy Udate from Kathy

Here is an email Kathy recently sent out. It is better than I could do so I just cut and pasted.

Dear Friends and Family:

Before I go into my "report" that most of you have requested, I want to let you know that we just got back from a wonderful family/friend vacation down the coast of California and had a wonderful time. 16 out of 22 of us on the trip road approximately 350 miles on bicycles. I drove the "sag wagon", or watched the scenery. It was great.

I tell you this because only a week before the trip my chemo had to be cancelled due to low white blood counts. I was also showing other signs and symptoms that the current chemo regimin (Taxol and Avastin) was becoming quite toxic in my system. I was already scheduled to have a week off of chemo for the trip, so I ended up with a two week break that gave my body a chance to recover a bit and to feel great, overall, for the vacation. The Lord truly does answer prayers.

Yesterday, the Monday after returning from the Coast Ride, I had new CT scans done and received the results today at my doctor's appointment. Most of my cancer turmors continue to be stable--that's the good news. Unfortunately, the tumors in my liver showed some growth. The growth was in the millimeters, but it was growth nonetheless.

So, with this slight growth along with the side-effects that were becoming more difficult, my doctor recommended that I change my chemo treatment affective immediately. I did not get chemo today and am, in fact, done with Taxol and Avastin. Next Monday I begin taking a new drug called Xeloda which is in a pill form. I take this medication twice a day for 14 days then take a week off. The side effects are expected to be quite manageble.

The doctor had a whole list of options to choose from for this next phase of treatment, but I chose the Xeloda mostly because it is a pill and I will get a break from the weekly infusions. My lymphedema in my right arm has gotten out of control and I will need to be going to physical therapy for a few weeks in August to treat that. I also have a family reunion to attend, a week of camping with friends, and a son to get off to college the first week of September, so the pills seemed the perfect option to free up my life a bit while I deal with these other things. I feel really good about this decision.

My sister, Darlene, was with me for the doctor's appointment and we both noticed as Dr. Chew described the different medications and options available, that she said "over the years of treatment..."--I like to hear that!

Thanks to all of you for your love a support. I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful set of friends and so many family members that are so concerned. I apologize if sometimes I seem a bit impatient with your "concerns" on my behalf. I often feel perfectly normal and wonder why people are always making a fuss over me. Ahhhh, well, I still need to learn a few things.............

Love to all--Kathy