Weeks 216 & 217: more roller coaster

Written by Lars Haakon Soraas

Weeks 216 and 217 in the war on lung cancer have (nearly) passed. The roller-coaster continues, but some things seem to point in a good direction at least. Here are the highlights:

  • Dyanne got stereotactic radiation of radiation of the two brain mets on Thursday last week. The treatment went well and was without complications.
  • Dyanne was supposed to have another chemo infusion on Friday last week. However, her blood plates were too low to get the chemo.
  • On Monday this week blood platelets had recovered, and Dyanne got chemo on Wednesday this week. The dose was reduced compared to previous times, to try to avoid any further issues with low blood platelets. The doses she got was 110 mg carboplatin and 640 mg gemcitabine (roughly 55-65% of the previous doses).
  • On Monday this week Dyanne also got radiation to the left hip, which has, on and off, been painful in the past few weeks. We thought she would get five daily radiation treatments, but hospital changed last minute and decided one treatment (6 Gray) was better. We wish they would have told us in advance and explained why. Oslo University Hospital is not very good at providing information about treatments to patients and getting their consent from patients before they start the treatment. Who cares what the patient thinks anyway?
  • Monday morning Dyanne woke up and felt not so good. General pain in most of the body and tired. She also had some fever. We think she had some kind of flu or virus. On Tuesday she felt a little bit better, but still fever and, if anything, the hip in the pain was worse than it was before the radiation on Monday. On Wednesday, when she got chemo, she was better, but chemo caused, as expected, more fatigue. And there was still pain in the hip. Yesterday (Thursday) she was better, no fever and pain in hip markedly reduced. Today even better again. Anyway, it has been a pretty tough week.
  • On top of physical issues, we also got a bit scared when we learned that CEA on Monday had doubled, from 56 on Friday last week to 113 on Monday. We suspected some transient increase, similar to what we had seen with NSE, but such a doubling is still a bit scary. Luckily, on Wednesday, CEA was down to 91 and we thus believe the increase was, at least in part, some transient reaction to treatment (perhaps the radiation of the hip). We will, naturally, continue to monitor both CEA and NSE to see if they, after they transient increases, decline to more comfortable levels. Charts of both the markers are pasted in at the end of this blog post.

With that, I hope everyone will have a good, fun and relaxing weekend!


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