I am meeting with my oncologist later today. Much has transpired since my appointment one month ago.
The Cough has returned. It started peeking around the corner three weeks ago. And for the past two weeks it has been harassing me day and night. Everywhere I go, the cough follows. It interrupts my conversations, embarrasses me at restaurants, and wakes me at night with its rowdy parties. Yes, I know this Cough. Right now, it feels like it did in late September.
The other thing that’s changed in the past week is the recurrence of the low grade fever. In the past 5 days, I’ve weighed-in twice at 99 degrees. That probably sounds harmless for most people, but it’s a solid 2+ degrees over my normal. Ibuprofen keeps it at bay, so I can’t complain too much.
I’ve been at the lowest recommended dose of Xalkori (250mg once a day) for two weeks. No, the coughing isn’t caused by Xalkori. Quite the opposite, really. I think the decreased dose of Xalkori may not be controlling the cancer as well as the high dose.
So I plan to discuss other options with my doctor. Here are the ones I know of:
- Clinical trials (Novartis LDK 378 has a Philadelphia location in progress)
- Chemotherapy (Alimta, Carboplatin, and Avastin seem to be a popular combination)
I just need to understand what’s next and what I need to prepare myself for. If we’re going to try to get me into a trial, then I’m sure there is an application process that needs to be started.
I’m hoping that I don’t have to get worse before I try to get better. That is, I hope that I don’t have to wait for a PET scan in May to prove myself for clinical trial entry. I don’t want this cough to escalate to an ‘October’ intensity.
I’ll post an update when I have one. As always: thanks for reading, and thanks for your support!