As you know, Paul finished his sixth round of Carbo Platin on 28 December.
Now, four weeks after his last infusion, he is still very tired and exhausted. He needs a lot of sleep, can't get enough sleep really. He has a good long sleep every night and usually a long nap in the afternoon. If he doesn't sleep well at night, or if he can't have his nap in the afternoon, he can really feel it later in the day. But as the tiredness is going away a little bit more every day, he is enjoying life a little more. This week we not only cleaned our house together for the first time in a long time but we also went out for 20-minute walks every day. Yesterday evening he was for the first time in a long time able to sit downstairs in the living-room reading a book without falling asleep.
Paul is on 10 mg Prednisolone and 10 mg Lexapro daily. And he is taking Maxolon or Valoid (anti-nausea medication) as needed.
At the moment our focus is to build his system up again with healthy food, good long rests and a bit of exercise where possible.
Paul will have a bone scan and a CT scan next week. And we will have the meeting with Professor McDermott on 13 February.
I am nervous because of course we don't know how effective the treatment has been so far. According to the CT scan which was done when Paul had completed the second round, the mets were shrinking but not very much. So we can only hope that the treatment has continued to be effective. There is a lot of hope that it has continued to work and a lot of fear that it hasn't.
The other thing that makes me nervous is that I know Professor McDermott and his often blunt way of presenting his opinion. He is the doctor who said last year, "Well, Paul, you can try Chemotherapy. But what I would say to you is: is Chemotherapy even going to work?" So what I am afraid of is that he will say, "Well, the Carbo Platin has shrunk the tumors slightly, but your liver won't ever be free of mets again, so I don't think it is even worth continuing the therapy." From a medical point of view he may be right; but what we want is to get as much time as possible, even if the improvement is only tiny. We wouldn't say this if Paul had experienced severe side-effects, but he hasn't, and therefore we feel that it is worth continuing, and who knows, maybe the next time all the mets in the liver will go away. So I suppose my nervousness is because I am afraid of what he will say and how we will be able to stand up for what we want to do.
Then there is of course the high PSA level that makes me and us nervous. Professor McDermott believes that the cancer must be growing somewhere else in the body at the moment, somewhere in the bones, because the PSA level is so high even with the Chemotherapy. So we are hoping that, if the CT scan shows more growth in the bones, he will reconsider putting Paul on a combination of Docetaxol and Carbo Platin. But he was very reluctant to do this last year.
And I also have to admit that I am sometimes a little afraid that how the professor says things will change Paul's mind. If the treatment success wasn't great so far, and if he tells Paul that, and if Paul is in one of his occasionally occuring darker moods, it might really make him think again. I don't know at the moment how I would cope if he decided not to continue with the treatment. Of course it is ultimately up to him and I know that and fully respect that, but I sooo much hope that we will have reason to believe and both have the strength to believe that it is worth doing it again.
What do you all think?
Mel and Paul.