As explosive and poison bombs were falling on major cities in England during WWII, the British government issued a propaganda campaign that included posters saying “Keep Calm and Carry On.” My good friend, Anita, recently reminded me of this sentiment. This past week, since learning that my initial chemotherapies were not consistently working to stop or slow the disease progression in my liver, has been a very difficult time for Wynn, our kids, and me. I have felt like my world is being showered with explosive and poison bombs.
My clinical picture is inconsistent. Although the primary tumor in my lung is measurably smaller and all of my liver enzyme tests have improved (some returning to within normal ranges), the tumors in my liver and bones are larger and more numerous. The inconsistencies made us wonder if I wasn't giving the initial chemotherapies enough time, which started a cascade of phone calls, appointments, emails, and online searches for information to help me to feel OK about moving onto a new chemo drug; one that will focus more on my liver, but which is more toxic and has scarier side effects. (Didn’t think that was possible.) The new chemo, I am told, will “kick my ass.” My hair will definitely fall out, which amazingly hasn’t happened yet, and the recovery after chemo will be tougher and longer.
The opinions of 3 oncologists were consistent, however. They all suggest moving onto the new chemo because they feel the advancement in my liver needs to be addressed. All have indicated that if I have a strong need/desire to continue with my initial regiment for 1-2 more rounds I “wouldn’t lose much”. Based on their input and Wynn’s research, I’ve decided to move forward to the new chemo. That happened earlier today.
Wish me luck as I keep calm and carry on.