Foggy Middle

So we enter week six and things are a little unstable. The good news–very good news–is that my tumour marker is down to 10, from over 40 when I started.

The bad news is that the hand pain hasn’t abated. It’s different from day to day and I seem to have good days and bad days.

I saw my oncologist on Thursday and we discussed dropping down. We are taking two more weeks to see if I can get by on a higher dose, but right now I’m thinking I will drop from 20 back to 14 or 16 in two weeks when I see him again. The hand pain interferes with a lot of stuff, from bass playing to cooking, to concentrating enough to write something interesting. My writing has slowed to a crawl in the last couple weeks, which is not satisfying, but at least I am able to make music. And I have done some bureaucratic stuff that requires less concentration, so that’s good.

To his credit, my Dr reminded me: “remember, this is permanent, so you have to be able to live with it.” I’m taking Gabapentin now on top of everything else as an attempt to deal with nerve pain. I may get used to it (I was on it once before) but right now it adds to dizziness and nausea, or at least I think it does.

Also, Friday late morning we had a close call where I had an overwhelming headache. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced: a wave of intense nausea, followed by intense pain behind my left eye, so much so that I couldn’t do anything for about 30 minutes and had to lay down and close my eyes. It seemed like what my friends who get migraines describe. Also, the brochure for Lenvima says if you have a sudden acute headache, consult medical professionals. Everyone basically said to take some pills and lay down in the dark and not do anything for awhile. My Dr’s secretary said to go to the emergency room, but I suspect she has to say that, and I really didn’t want to sit in an emergency room for 16 hours to discover I had a headache.

I wound up dropping some pain pills and sitting in a dark room for an hour listening to avant-garde piano. It was relaxing, and the atonality of some of the compositions was reassuring somehow.

Today I’m feeling fatigued. So maybe it was my first migraine, or maybe the nerve drugs and the cancer drugs aren’t playing nice. Either way, it’s couch time for me tonight.