Friday, August 12, 2011

In the Thick of it Again

The good news is that my PET scan showed no cancer activity in soft tissues—my lungs were fine, my liver was fine, my heart (well, hearts never get cancer—isn’t that interesting?) was fine, my kidneys were fine, my guts were fine.  So, all the organs that will help me process the new regimen designed to clear my skeleton of multiple new metastatic lesions are in good working order.  Yes, hidden in that ponderous sentence was the new diagnosis from the PET/CT:  my bones are exceedingly cancer-attractive right now.  

I have not noticed any bone pain myself, so that’s good, but I have measurable activity in many of my vertebrae, both scapulae, some ribs, and particularly in the top of my left femur, right where old people often break their hips.  So, don’t beat on me—I’m fragile.  And also, I’ll kick your office-dwelling ass.

Dr Specht reported a small part of her conversation with Dr Jason about me, after the PET scan came in:  “She’s not going to stop riding YOUR horses,” she said accusingly to him.  Yep, that’s right, I’m not.  In fact, I have a jump lesson today, and I’m very excited about it—it’s the first jump lesson since June!  Besides that, or presumably because of that, my legs and, particularly, all the small muscles around my hips, are exceedingly strong right now.  My body has spent the last several months priming itself to protect a porous skeletal system until it can be healed.  Again.

But back to the other—well, another—side of me.  My insurance company has, of course, been slowly learning—no, that’s not right—has been hit over the head with a brick of knowledge (otherwise known as my two-foot-tall-stack of medical charts)—that I am an expensive keeper.  Their attempts to mitigate my costs have been unsuccessful so far, and I have confidence that my doctors and I will continue to prevail.  We’re definitely having to work for it, however, and while I understand that I should have to spend some hours managing my care and cajoling recalcitrant benefactors, I find it maddening that Dr Specht, who has many more lives to save than mine, has had to spend her own precious time in Byzantium.  

And at the moment, the drug they are hesitating on is the cheapest one—Navelbine—an infusible chemotherapy that takes a mere 20 minutes and costs about $300.  The drawback for me is that it’s a two-week-on, one-week-off sort of drug, so I’ll have to double my clinic visits for the time being . . . but for 20 minutes (read, in reality 40) . . . I can sit in a chair on those weeks. Anyway, I went ahead and started the Navelbine last night (Ian and I can pay for that one once if they don’t cover it retroactively), and I could SWEAR that I felt it getting into some of the larger bone patches.  And the Lapatinib is creeping its slow way through the back office of the mail order pharmacy and will, at some point, arrive on my doorstep.  More about it when it makes its appearance.

This weekend: back to Orcas, to side and paint (we’re optimists) the Dacha!

1 comment:

joel said...

My best wishes are with you. I am still checking on you every day.