Friday, November 14, 2008

New Medical Info

It's been a bit since I last posted. It's been a hard ten days or so, physically and mentally. I had partly waited to write anything new because I had hoped to have better news since the last time I wrote. It's taken some healing in several ways to be ready to talk about it.

As you may remember, I started one of the two second-line chemo drugs and that resulted in another stay at the hospital. When I went to my own oncologist after that, we decided to give a try on the third and last chemo drug. It took awhile for it to get to the pharmacy. It's cost is $6,795 per month. (Thank goodness I only had to pay $40 for it whith my health insurance prescription coverage.) For obvious reasons it's not kept in stock.

So it took awhile for it to arrive here in Spokane. It came with all kinds of crazy warnings. It even required that the pharmacist read to me a five page hand-out from the drug manufacturer before they would let me leave with it. All the printed information on it starts with "Warning. This drug may cause sudden death." So with trepidation, really for the first time with all of the meds I have taken, I started taking it.

Three doses later I was back in the hospital. I am allergic to some part of the drug. It wasn't side effects but a true allergic reaction. So no more of that medicine.

We met again with my oncologist yesterday. I sat there with tears in my eyes, trying to bargain some way I could keep taking any of the three chemo meds. My doctor really didn't think that it would work, particularly because all three have put me in the hospital and I wasn't even at the dosage level high enough to be effective. Another try could likely result in even stronger side effects from the first two and an even worse allergic reaction to the third. She is however contacting the head of pharmacy in Seattle to find out if there is any way it would be worth trying again. But the last one is not an option at all because of the acute allergic reaction I had.

The next step, the only step left, is likely the transplant. But hopefully we can figure out some sort of timebuyer as I continue to fundraise and continue applying for every grant possible. But my heart is broken that I can't take any of the drugs. It is hard to accept that I have failed each of them.

I am so incredibly disappointed. I am so incredibly sad. And I am really, really afraid. I am still overwhelmed that all of this is happening. I plan on giving myself a few days to mourn this and then rally up and press on.

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