I am not sure if the latest chemo cocktail was harder, or if the accumulation of all of the chemo's caught up with me. The past few months I have had a lot of discomfort and being tired after my treatments. As said in a prior post, I discussed a break in chemo with my Oncologist. The insurance and Medicare may take that decision out of our hands. After quite an approval process (from Medicare and my insurance), on June 13th I have another MRI/contrast dye scan. If this scan does not show more improvement in my kidney, the remaining chemo which was previously approved will be declined. Before beginning the new chemical (Treanda) a six month chemo was approved for the second cocktail, this is only the three month mark. Even with the doctor explaining that the remaining three months is needed to show a result, approval probably will not take place.
The silver lining in the cloud is that without chemo, maybe I will begin to feel more like myself. I am looking forward to having more energy, being alert, clearing the cobwebs, body aches gone, etc. etc. The thought of being able to plan ahead, work on a sewing project or keeping what hair I have left is a positive thing. For now, I am looking forward to this tradeoff.
The tradeoff is the Watch & Wait plan, that is what my doctor calls it. Does this mean no ill effects during this time? No, some conditions continue. I understand why the doctor recommends not to remove my right kidney. In short, if the affected kidney is removed, the remaining kidney as to do the work of two. Being a diabetic, it is a pretty sure bet that my remaining kidney would have issues on its own. Compound that with the early onset stress and dialysis comes into view. Also, removing the kidney only addresses that issue, the cancer continues within my bloodstream waiting for a new location to take over.
So, watch & wait, but this does not mean that I do nothing. Gloria has been researching and referring to me many options I can help myself with. During chemo many of my other health issues have become worse. This is why I discussed stopping chemo with my doctor. The cancer is not going to get me before my diabetes. Glucose numbers have gone up into the 400's and droppig into the 100's. Not only is this doing damage to vital organs, but emotional issues, and stress on my body is affecting blood pressure, etc.
Just this week I discovered that "none" of my chemo treatments have been paid on by either insurance or medicare. The amounts astonished me, approximately $37,000.00 each month for my chemo! After discussions with the Billing Department of the hospital, it is obvious that I am a customer to the actual business, and a patient to the doctor treating me.
My last visit to the Oncologist office, I watched as the patients came in. I found myself being thankful that my issues were less than most; at least from what I viewed. I do not take for granted being able to drive to my doctor appointment most of the time, have clear vision off and on, ability to have more than one thought at a time during parts of the month, energy enough to run the errands I have to, and have an appetite.
"It is the quality not the quantity that matters."
(Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)