William writes … It has been a while. Yesterday, Dawne’s treatment protocol changed. Her body is not tolerating the chemo drug – Taxotere. This is noteworthy. Sparing you the bloody details, the worst of it is Dawne’s chemically-induced Peripheral Neuropathy; and that’s hardly the entire story. Every person who undergoes chemotherapy knows the horrors and challenges. They also know the extremes beyond which continuing is not appropriate.
Dawne’s new doctor is a very good doctor. Thankfully he saw us yesterday, an unplanned visit. He prescribed an end to the Taxotere every 3 weeks and is moving Dawne to Taxol [Paclitaxel] every week. Taxol is a less potent drug. He called it the drug of choice for 80 year olds. It is given at lower doses, but more often. There is an upside to this beyond trying to rebuild Dawne’s peripheral nerves over the next few months. Dawne will stop taking those damnable steroid drugs and the white blood cell builder called Neulasta, both of which are having additional serious negative impacts on her daily life.
I am optimistic. Dawne’s spirit is tested, yet she is Dawne. Those who know me well know just how fortunate I am to be married to this lovely lady. She is a very strong woman who makes life easier for not just me, but a large number of other souls. Through all of this she finds moments to smile, to check in on friends, to worry about paying bills and well … you know the rest … you’re likely at the receiving end of her endless and unconditional love.
Yup, I buried the lead again. Leaving you with the best part of the story – Dawne’s FOUR tumors are now only TWO and those appear on scan to be ONE. Yippee! Even better that single remaining mass is measuring at 2cm or less, which is just less than half the original size. This is seriously good news considering her original chemo regime was substandard (that all changed with the new doctor). This is the beauty of the new neoadjuvant (pre-op) protocol. You get to know the damn drugs are working. Of course the final – final is not knowable until surgery and pathology are done, but we’ll take these little successes. Screw Cancer.
Keep thinking, Dawne will be OK!