I quit the trial. There were several reasons for this. My last CT scan was considered “stable”, but in truth there has been some progression. A small amount, but progression all the same. The most significant being spread to the pleural lining of the left lung. It isn’t causing any issues right now, but at some point it may mean I’ll start having trouble breathing. I also have small bowel obstructions which weren’t there before.
Mainly, I decided to drop out of the trial because it wasn’t doing enough to justify the side effects I was suffering. The drugs were making me just as sick, if not sicker, than the cancer. I gave it a try but this wasn’t going to be my miracle cure.
I made the decision at the right time. The small bowel obstructions that appeared on my last CT are causing a lot of issues for me. Eating is almost impossible, and what I am able to eat, I throw up 75% of the time. The reality of this illness is not pretty. I’ve lost more than 20 pounds in the last month. I’m on a cocktail of anti-emetics to try to prevent the nausea and vomiting. I’m pretty weak from dehydration and malnutrition, and ended up taking a ride to the hospital in an ambulance last week after nearly passing out in the grocery store. That experience has left me afraid to go out anywhere, no matter how close to home, on my own.
People inevitably will ask what they can do to help. Come visit me and take me out for short walks to help me build up my strength and keep me from getting too lonely. That’s probably the best thing anyone can do right now.
I have an appointment with the palliative care team next week. Hopefully they will have more ideas about how to get my symptoms under control and manage the nausea and weight loss. At this point, I’m not healthy enough to pursue any clinical trials in town (let alone out of town) and I’m not planning on trying chemo again, at least not while I’m as unwell as I am now. It’s possible that this is the end of the line as far as treatment is concerned for me. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one.
Thanks to everyone for all your support, both in the past and going forward. I’ll be needing a lot of it.