Friday, October 7, 2011

Update: (preliminary) good news

LONG day yesterday at MSKCC with complications, but the important news is tentatively good. My friend Helene and I left home at 8 AM for an MRI at 9, CT at 11.  Since I had reacted (hives and racing BP) to the CT contrast agent last time, I took Prednistone at 10 PM, 4 AM (didn't get back to sleep) and 10 AM, with benadryl at 10 AM. Scans went fine, and I was happily ready to leave at noon and get some lunch.  Helene took one look at my face and told me I had hives again.  So back to the nurses for testing (BP again high), further observation, and drinking lots of water to flush the fluid.  As always, wonderful cheerful attentive nurses.  One even remembered how may hives I had had before.  About an hour later, the radiologist came out and said she wanted to speak to me.  She told me that the CT scan had shown blood clots in my abdomen, that she had called my oncogolist, and I needed to go directly to the urgent care canter at Memorial.  Before leaving, I asked her what else the scans showed, and while she was very careful to say that it was very preliminary, but the tumors certainly had not gotten larger and may have gotten a bit smaller.  Very good news! 

The urgent care center: picture an ER for cancer patients, busy place full of very sick people.  I was a bit anxious, and it took quite a while for information to flow around, and to work my way up the chain of command to see a doctor, but the bottom line seems to be that this is not dangerous.  I shouldn't engage in contact sports; the clots will dissolve on their own. But I have to go onto a blood thinner to prevent future clotting.  They do nothing by halves there, so instead of an oral medicine, I must inject Enoxoparin twice daily.  The doc said it is simply better that Coumarin etc. The nurse showed me how, and it is pretty easy, with preloaded syringes.

Clots are apparently often associated with cancer and also with abdominal surgery; apparently the therapy drugs are not at fault, but who knows.  (My niece the oncologist said that she sees clots as a result of CT contrast agents.)  Treatment for indefinite period.

I see my oncolgist on Tuesday.  Had this not happened, I would not have had any news on the scan results until then.  So a little bump in the road and yet more meds and things to watch, but basically very good news.  Thanks to my wonderful friend Helene for spending a very long, sometimes worrisome, and mostly boring day with me at MSKCC.

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