It’s been nearly a week since my last post, so I wanted to update you on my status.
I have been dealing with some mystery abdominal pain and nausea occurring right after I begin eating. I first noticed symptoms when I was at the farm two weeks ago, and it really came to a head this past Saturday (February 25). After 24 hours of trying every possible over-the-counter remedy, the pain was worsening, and I needed to be seen.
I went to the hospital on Sunday and was admitted.
MRI… X-rays… CT scan (with the awful barium contrast drink)… Blood and urine tests and cultures… I didn’t keep down any food on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. And it wasn’t necessarily due to nausea. My body just had to expel the food, usually 5 hours after eating. I had a constant fever around 100 degrees. After ruling out everything else, the diagnosis? Xalkori.
My amazing cancer medication comes with some known (and, no doubt, unknown) side effects. Approximately 15% of patients have reported abdominal problems.
My last dose of Xalkori was Wednesday morning. Seth cooked and delivered some Oodles of Noodles for dinner on Wednesday night, and I kept them down. I chose them because they wouldn’t hurt going down or coming up, and they weren’t dry like bread or crackers. Tuesday night I nearly aspired a roll I ate 5 hours earlier.
Thursday I awoke with no fever. It was the first time in days. I ate very selectively, and everything stayed down.
Friday morning I started to feel more human. I had kept food down for more than 24 hours, my fever was officially gone, and I was ready to go home. Seth picked me up around 1 pm. There’s no place like home!
And then there was Saturday. I feel rather bad today, and I’ve been second-guessing all day whether or not I was discharged too early.
As far as my treatment, the plan is to follow Pfizer’s guideline for this type of adverse event. Stop treatment until I’ve recovered. Then restart at a lower dose: 200mg twice a day (versus the original 250mg). Hopefully the lower dose will minimize the side effects but still attack the cancer.
That’s all for now. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. Please accept this as my excuse not only for the intermittent blogging, but also for being delinquent on emails and generally grumpy!