My Personal Cancer Journey — Mixed Results

While receiving my chemotherapy treatment yesterday I was able to speak to my doctor regarding the recent CT Scan and MRI’s that I had. The results are certainly mixed. My adrenal tumor, the one which has been the main focus of our search for the cause of my back pain, has continued to shrink. It has decreased in size from a high of 3.9 centimeters to 2.3 cm. This is obviously good news but it also eliminates the adrenal tumor as a possible cause of my back pain.

In fact, the culprits seem to be several “new” tumors in my spine. Bone tumors are a common metastasis with Lung Cancer. When I asked the doctor how they could be growing while I am receiving chemotherapy, he explained that bone tumors do not respond to the drugs avastin or abraxane. He suggested that the best way to get rid of these bone tumors is to irradiate them. We actually began the first step of this process yesterday. I received a shot of something called Denosumab (trade name: Xgeva). It works by blocking the main signal that causes bone cancer to break down bone (without this drug bone cancer cells will cause bones to become weaker and fracture). However, the only problem with Xgeva is that it also affects the amount of calcium in the blood. Thus, I must take calcium and Vitamin D (which works along with calcium) supplements to replenish these lost nutrients.

I have also made an appointment with a Radiation Oncologist to discuss and schedule my radiation treatments. These new developments have been disconcerting, to say the least. But at least we know where the pain is coming from, and we have a plan to eliminate this pain. Onward!


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