Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I met with my oncologist this morning. Almost her first words were "You didn't have the biopsy done?" Well no, I didn't, because my surgical oncologist with whom she had spoken examined me and then told me that her examination and the CT Scan showed that the cancer had returned and there was no reason to do a biopsy. Then she told me she was sorry but there was nothing more she could do for me, which I took to be her dismissal.

I explained all that to my oncologist who said that the CT Scan showed mostly what it had showed previously and that the PET Scan didn't show any changes either, but sometimes cancer doesn't show up on a PET Scan.

Where do we go from here? Since the biopsy had been an ordeal, I wasn't anxious to repeat it. I told my oncologist I thought it had returned. She agreed to go ahead with the next chemo based on my assessment and the surgeon's diagnosis. She indicated that in about 95% of cases she takes a "leap of faith" when this happens.

So...the next chemo will be Xeloda, a medication taken twice a day for 14 days, followed by 7 days rest, and then a repeat of that schedule. The reason for the rest is that this one causes hand and foot problems including redness, burning, peeling skin and sometimes sores on the tips of the fingers. The extent of this varies with each patient, and the dosage will be adjusted to accommodate it. The other common side effect is diarrhea. I won't be starting this medication until next Monday.

Since I'm not supposed to wear tight fitting shoes, and since the inserts in my shoes that are meant to address the heel problems caused by the Femara cause my shoes to be tight, we were not able to resolve what I'm going to do about footwear. Xeloda requires bedroom slippers at home. Podiatrist requires that I not wear bedroom slippers at home.

I didn't ask whether this one causes chemobrain. God I hope not!

My husband and I stopped for lunch on the way home. He drank Dr. Pepper. I had a beer.

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