Xgeva 21 and doctor meetings

We started the day at the medical center around 10:30 this morning. First, it was my treatment appointment at the infusion center. With my nerves being in a frazzle over the latest developments since the thoracentesis a week ago, my blood pressure was at an all-time high. My husband has been urging me to take my lorazepam, but I usually do well with imagery and meditation and have refused. This morning at the infusion center after I saw my blood pressure spike, I decided I am probably doing a less than optimal job of calming my nerves down. I finally took my husband’s advice and downed half a pill.

After that appointment I went to see my primary care physician, who takes care of everything that falls outside the parameters of the oncology realm. She knows what’s going on with me, and she looks at my other health indicators and keeps me on the right track there. She is both thorough and caring, and she also seems to be able to soothe me because she is a straight arrow with a kind word. She has also been here since my metastasis and in fact was the one who gave me the news on that fateful day 1-28-09, one of those days that are indelibly etched in the memory. She told me today that the lab report shows that the pleural effusions were malignant, so it means that the fluid removed from my lungs carried breast cancer cells. She knew I was meeting with my oncologist directly after that, so she just gave me a little bit of information to help me deal with this news. We discussed the options for the next steps only briefly, sort of like an introduction.

Finally, I finished the day with my oncologist and the social worker who stops by on a regular basis to see patients and whom I had run into that morning in the infusion center. My oncologist has a new nurse, so today was the first time we met even though I have bothered her on the phone a few times already. The room felt cozy with all of us together, and somehow it was comforting to me. My oncologist explained to me that malignant pleural effusions occur not within the lung but in the space between the lung and the pleural cavity. With the large amount of fluid that I had removed (1800 ml) it is expected that the effusions will recur. Removing them with thoracentesis poses a risk that is best not endured with cancer patients, so one of the procedures that pulmonologists do to prevent it is to glue the lining of the lung to the pleural wall (pleurodesis). To do this they use talc that is introduced through a tube into the cavity. It creates an irritation between the two surfaces and causes them to adhere to each other. I will learn the details when I see the pulmonologist on Tuesday.

At this time because the current status of my treatment means it is working for certain aspects of the cancer but not for others, we will be changing my treatment after I undergo the procedure. My oncologist said that she prefers to keep me on Xeloda® until after the procedure, but after that we will look at new options.

I am exhausted with the onslaught of new information, so I fell asleep for two hours when I got home from the medical center. I will avoid thinking about all of the news and will take some lorazepam so I can get a good night’s sleep tonight. It would have been better if the effusions were not malignant, but, honestly, it was not a surprise that they were. It seems to be another one of those crises for stage IV breast cancer.

Here we go again: one step at a time.

5 6 7 8
© 2004–2012 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.



12 responses to “Xgeva 21 and doctor meetings

  1. Dear Donna,

    I am so sorry to read all of this stuff you will be dealing with over the next bit of time. I HATE to see the word “crises” …. You are in my thoughts, ALWAYS. I’m here and I’m listening and sending you cyber hugs and support and of course, love.

    MUCH love…

  2. Oh dear Lady. I am so sad reading your post. Please know I am there will you every step of the way. You are in my heart and prayers. Wishing you dreams of dancing.

  3. Well, there are dances and then there are dances. This was not one I like, but I do like your attitude. You are the Ever Ready bunny here…taking blow and after blow and still you keep moving forward, keeping sound thoughts and concepts and come here to write to us and tell us what is happening. I can keep on dancing with you as long as you want. When you’re too tired to dance, you just sit in the chair, give me your hand, and I will hold it while I dance around you. Don’t be too critical of my thighs, tho! I’ve worked many years to get them this size! Ooopsss…the music has started…give me your hand….. Hugs!

  4. Dear Donna – Lots of hugs coming to you from me this morning. Let’s go to our Cottonwood Tree for awhile and sway in the wind. We can listen to the birds sing and watch the deer and fish below us. You will find peace, relaxation and strength to face this challenge. Bet the Spirit of D12 is there to join our dance! Let’s go find out,….give me your hand………….we’re here!


  5. We are all here with you…I’m glad you are resting…cyber hug from, Kathleen

  6. BreastCancerSisterhood

    I’m comforted that you have such excellent care and so many who love you, me included. Try and find someway to bring joy into Yoyr days.

  7. Donna,
    Count me in as being “here” for you, Donna. Rest and regroup. Hugs.

  8. Dearest Donna, it sounds like you have an excellent team behind you and I pray you will keep the strength through this journey. Many hugs and love, Kathryn

  9. I just found your blog…I don’t have any words except I am sorry.

  10. Yes, one step at a time. One day at a time

  11. Donna, I joined the Stage IV club at my initial diagnosis in April, starting with a malignant pleural effusion. I had the pleurodesis, with talc, in May. It was a lot tougher than the thoracentisis, but I haven’t had any problems with pleural effusion or pneumonia since. Hang in there! Your blog has been inspiring me to keep going and keep hoping.

  12. I am so sorry to hear this news. My prayers are with you.

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