Friday, March 13, 2015

What a Week

It's been an incredibly hard week for us.  A week ago Friday, CR had his bone and cat scans and blood work.  On Monday we had an appointment with the oncologist and the results were not great.

Here is what we found out:

The PSA was over 500 (in December it was 162)

The bone scan showed that all his ribs, areas of the spine, and jaw have metastatic bone cancer (in December it was only a couple of ribs)

The cat scan showed that he has enlarged lymph nodes in his abdomen

Cliff will start a daily pill as soon as all the approvals go through.  The drug is called XTandi and is specifically designed to fight advanced prostate cancer.  It is classed as an androgen inhibitor.  Androgens are a group of hormones, which include testosterone.  The Androgen receptor inhibitors interfere with the connection between androgens and androgen receptors and help slow the cancer growth.  The basics are this:  A prostate cancer cell needs an androgen to connect with an androgen receptor to cause tumor cells to grow.  Xtandi doesn’t allow them to connect and grow tumors.  I asked the Oncologist how will she know that the Xtandi is working and she said that a monthly blood test of his PSA will tell her.  If the PSA starts going down, the Xtandi is working.  Then every 3 months she’ll follow up with Bone and Cat Scans. 

We felt as if a freight train had run us over and it's been emotionally and mentally draining.  I have even experienced some panic attacks from this news.  I think we both are doing better now, we've had a few days to wrap our heads around it all.

We have decided to continue as planned to take a trip to the Oregon Coast and celebrate our 29th Wedding Anniversary.  I think it will be good for us to just get away to a favorite place.  We always find the ocean renewing and calming.  Given this latest storm, we need the calm seas even for just a little bit.

On top of the stress of cancer, another stress had me in knots this week also.  I had mailed my Aunts birthday package to them and used the Post Office flat rate box that has tracking and insurance.  I've had such good luck with those boxes until this time around.  I mailed it so that it would arrive on March 5th which is my Aunt Jean's birthday (Aunt Shirl's birthday is the 24th).  I made adorable wall hangings for them (I posted about them a few posts back) and I also baked cookies for Aunt Jean and scones for Aunt Shirl.  Well that box sat in Rocky Mt. North Carolina for days, and days and there was no update, only a statement that the package was delayed.  Rocky Mt is a 2 hour drive to where the Aunties live.  I was feeling sure that they'd lost the package.  And I was upset, it just compounded the upset I was already feeling.  Crisis averted on Tuesday morning when the tracking number showed it was out for delivery.  They got everything, all was well and they loved their wall hangings.  And I didn't have to blow up at some poor postal worker and take out all my upset on them.

One thing I started working on this week to try to be calm and focus and not have panic attacks is a quilt for the bird viewing end table in my one living room.  It came together easily and was fun to do and I love the result. 

So that's my week.  Not much happening, well except for what I've told you about.  The weather has been gorgeous and spring like.  In fact the other day the temps were in the 70's.  Just beautiful.

Hope everyone is well and enjoying some better weather.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,