No More Taxol

Today was supposed to be a day for the infusion of Herceptin and Taxol, but following the opinion of Dr. Slamon, I finished Taxol and had only Herceptin.

Instead of starting Xeloda, the next oral chemo, right away, my Kaiser oncologist gave me a week break just in case.

With Xeloda, my infusion will go back to every three weeks, instead of every week.  If so, I may be able to go to Japan.

It may take a long time for Taxol’s side effects, such as peripheral  neuropathy, stiffness of my legs,swelling, etc, to go away, but a least my hair will grow back!

Xeloda also has numerous side effects and they may be nasty as well, but T-DM1 can be approved at the end of February or March.  So I hope I can tolerate whatever Xeloda causes until then.

Next CT scan will come probably sometime before Christmas.  If the result is stable, that will be a wonderful Christmas gift.  If not, I will change Tykerb to Perjeta, a brand new medicine, too, and look for a clinical trial of T-DM1 in which I can participate.

The plans were made and now I leave the rest for God and will go on a small vacation to Laguna Beach with George this weekend.

He will have a wedding over there and we have made the plan since last summer.

It is off season though, if weather is good, we can walk the beach, enjoy Christmas shopping, and even if the weather is bad, I can enjoy reading, cooking, and just being together with George. 🙂

I didn’t expect it at all, but the weekend without Taxol or Xeloda should be wonderful and this is another gift of God’s grace.

Starting Xeloda

About a half month after I stopped Taxol with a week delay due to the food poisoning, I started a new chemo, Xeloda at night on the 19th.

I started with 5 pills (3 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon)in stead of 6,  watching out for diarrhea.   Yet the next morning, I woke up with a stomach pain and had to go to the bathroom.  On Thursday we would have a Christmas luncheon in the ESL Bible class, and as I didn’t want to ruin the fun time with diarrhea, I immediately took an anti-diarrhea medicine.

It was a wise choice.    All day long I was fine and enjoyed every part of the luncheon.  I realized it was important to take  medicine when a problem is minor, instead of bearing it until discomfort or pain become serious.

Besides diarrhea, I was told that Xeloda may cause hand-foot syndrome, which make sores, pealing, or breaks in the skin.  Thursday morning, I found a small cut on the tip of my right middle finger.  At the beginning days of using Tykerb, I experienced cuts and breaks in the skin of fingers and soles, as well, but they were healed by ointments, socks, and gloves.  The beginning of this year I had to have a surgery for a granuloma and although it reoccurred, it disappeared by applying aloe gel. So, I am going to try aloe and Aquaphor ointment to prevent this problem.

As of day 4 of Xeloda, diarrhea is under control and so far no major problems except this small cut.

On the other hand, since I quit Taxol, my baldhead became itchy.  I guess my hair is coming back, or that’s what I hope since I want some good news.

Dr. Slamon suggested to stop Taxol, being concerned that the peripheral neuropathy would become permanent.  The numbness, tingling, and stiffness of my legs haven’t changed yet, but psychologically I am relieved thinking that I am not taking Taxol any more.

Next CT scan I’ve been anxious about was rescheduled for the 28th of this month, although I wanted to move it up.

If I think about it, I get worried, but so far, the Christmas spirit is holding it down.

In spite of many more trials this year, I am thankful that I have been enjoying Thanksgiving and this beautiful Christmas season.

I love Jesus!

Neighborhood Church Christmas Pageant

T−DM1 Was Approved!

My cancer friend in Japan, Dr. M, told me that T-DM1 was approved in an e-mail.

I opened the Google News and there it was:  I saw the article telling that the FDA finally approved T-DM1 giving it the name Kadcyla on Friday the 22nd, a week earlier than I expected.

According to the article, this new drug called a super Herceptin will cost about $9,800 per month; that will be almost twice as the cost of Herceptin.

If the drug is super good, the price is also super expensive!  Yet , as currently my deductable is zero for Herceptin with Kaiser insurance,  I am hoping it will be the same zero deductable even for Kadcyla (T-DM1) as well.

My next CT scan is scheduled on the 27th in this month.  Of course, I want a good result, but even if not, now I can have Kadcyla!

This is indeed great news and I am grateful for all the people who had signed the petition for T-DM1 to help me get it.

Thank you sooooo much and GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!! 🙂

Vitamin B For Mouth Sore

For a while my mouth had hurt as I had  hot food or citrus, and soon I developed some mouth sores, which is one of chemo side effects.  While I was looking for a remedy, I told Dr. M, my cancer friend in Japan, about the mouth sores. She told me to take Vitamin B.

Vitamin B6 and B12 are already in my medicine box as my oncologist recommended them for the numbness and tingling of my feet and hands. As I took it, next day I felt already better, and in a week, my mouth sores were completely healed.  It is really amazing!

I am so thankful for Dr. M, who is like my free private doctor.

 Aloe for Preventing Granuloma

I have developed a hand-foot syndrome from Xeloda as well.  This side effect has made my hands and feet dry and shriveled. As if a too small plastic glove on my hand starts breaking because it didn’t fit on me, my skin started cracking along with the wrinkles.  I wear gloves and use ointment several times a day, but even around the nails has begun to hurt even when I press something a little with the fingers or feel sore when cutting onions or fruits.

This may be a sign of granuloma that I had to have  surgery for last year.  I don’t want to go through such trouble any more, so now I am rubbing aloe 100% gel several times a day and it seems helpful.

 Reducing the dose of Xeloda and Tykerb

As I told about the recent side effects, the oncologist surprised me telling that it is ok to reduce the dose if the side effects get worse.

She said “if”, but this suggestion was too appealing to resist. Next day I changed Xeloda from 6 tables to 5 on top of Tykerb that I have already reduced the dose from 5 to 4 tables.

I hope they are still effective and if the new dose eases the side-effects, I ‘d like to stay on the current medicine saving T-DM1 for a while.

New Joy For the Approved T-DM1

Although I hope that I don’t need to jump on T-DM1, my joy was renewed when I saw people at church excited with me learning that my longed-fo medicine is now available.

I realized that my wish came true because so many people helped me signing on the petition, and praying for me.

This is all God’s Grace and I cannot help saying again,