I had an appointment with the doctor who works with my oncologist today (they call her a GPO). I adore Dr. B.. Today she was all smiles.
She says that it's her feeling, and that of Dr. G., my oncologist, that I am having these intense reactions to Herceptin because it's working. She says that they've seen these signs before when the treatment has been effective and although the evidence is purely anecdotal, they are feeling very optimistic.
And so am I. Cautiously optimistic but optimistic all the same.
Consider the following:
1-The swelling in my liver has decreased somewhat dramatically. As recently as Christmas day, I looked and felt like I had swallowed a watermelon. Both sides of my belly now look the same (which means like a woman who has had two kids and has never done a ton of ab work) and I can do up my pants. I can also go for walks (and I have been) without feeling like my insides are all mushed together.
2-I have not needed a pain-killer stronger than extra-strength Tylenol since boxing day. Less than two weeks ago, I was on morphine.
3-My most recent blood test revealed that my liver functions have improved greatly since my diagnosis of metastasis.
It was nice to leave an oncology appointment with a smile on my face.
I did have an echo-cardiogram again today (more on that tomorrow) the results of which may determine when I am next treated with Herceptin. The next session is scheduled for January 9 but the docs are concerned about the toll Herceptin might be taking on my heart, given the damage that has already been caused by Adriamycin (the 'red-devil' chemo drug that made me lose my hair).
I hope that I am given the green light to proceed (along with a couple of new drugs in the mix to reduce the intensity of my reactions), as I am, of course, keen to keep attacking my tumours (I've been visualizing the chemo and Herceptin blasting the little bastards).
Dr. B. told me that she's ordering a new ultrasound to see what my liver looks like now that I've had a few treatments. She seems pretty confident that we'll see a marked improvement.