I really do mean to update more than once a month, really. But, as with so many other things in my life, I’m finding I just have to accept that my old goals might not fit my new reality.
Last night I took the final dose of my first cycle of Sutent. I’ve now got a 14 day break from the drug – something I’ve definitely been looking forward to. Overall, the side effects didn’t get too bad, especially when compared to Inlyta, my last med. However, during the last week and a half of the cycle my feet and hands became extremely sore. Walking was difficult and painful, and I sometimes needed help opening containers and such. I’ve been using a urea cream, and while it does help, it doesn’t fully relieve the pain or burning. I’ve also become increasingly fatigued and have dealt with more diarrhea recently.
But now I get two weeks off! And, truly, this is what will make the Sutent regime so much easier to handle. It’s not just the break, but the knowledge of the break that makes it easier to get through the harder days. Knowing that I only had another week in the cycle helped me avoid despair or depression about the pain. It’s not going to be unrelenting like the Inlyta was.
I’ve already marked my calendar with the next few breaks in bright colors, so that I can better plan the days that should be better. If future cycles are like this one, I should be able to count on at least 2 weeks of feeling reasonably OK while taking the pills and at least a week of feeling pretty worn out and in pain. We’ll see how quickly my body bounces back over the break, but I’m hoping that it will all add up to significantly more good days than bad – and a cycle that I can plan around.
The past month it has been much difficult for me to deal with other people’s cancer. I had one girlfriend get diagnosed this month, and also lost one of the guys in our family support group.
I really hate cancer.
I appreciated Nick’s presence at group. He’s the kind of guy that once you meet him, you love him. But I was most touched by his ability to look at his life and impending death and both fully examine it and be at peace with it. Every time he talked, I found myself nodding and less alone on this journey. I aspire to the same level of introspection and openness and caring as Nick always displayed. I will miss him.
My girlfriend looks to probably have a better prognosis than Nick or I, for which I am extremely grateful. But even so, it’s still a shock that leaves your whole life turned upside down. I’m trying to be there for her as much as possible, and I’ll even admit to being a teensy bit pleased that she’s on medical leave from work, because that means we can spend time together during the day. I just wish it weren’t for this reason.
I’ve also had to tease her a bit by asking her what she asked me at the beginning. “So, how often do you think about having cancer?”. Luckily she gets me and my off kilter humor.
I hope to continue to write on a more regular basis, but I’m not going to promise anything. That’s something I gave up with my diagnosis.