Because of the pulmonary emboli most probably caused by the Sunitinib treatment, I’m now just taking regular Warfarin.
I have another CT scan in May which will tell whether the lymph nodes have progressed and whether the PEs have reduced or disappeared.
Otherwise, I feel as healthy as ever, and continue in full-time work.
Sunitinib cycle 7 day 28 was 10 days ago.
At the oncologist’s request, I had a CT scan done to determine whether the treatment remained effective.
The good news is that the lymph nodes of concern had not grown since treatment started in February.
The bad new is that it appears to have caused pulmonary emboli in both lungs, not detected in the August scan.
The upshot is one night spent in Accident & Emergency, 6 days of Enoxaparin injections, and ongoing anticoagulation with Warfarin.
I see the oncologist again in January to see what is to be done about these pesky lymph nodes.
Appropriate seasonal wishes to any reader out there.
Today is Sunitinib cycle 6 day 1.
I was supposed to resume a week ago, but had diarrhoea, which has been chronically recurring for 2 or 3 days a week for the last few weeks.
A stool sample taken for the oncologist after the diarrhoea was over showed nothing.
An echocardiogram showed my heart was fine.
And yesterday I had a sudden onset of a urinary tract infection with what felt like a high fever, but I didn’t get to measure temperature at peak. Urine sample taken.
So I’ll be taking another stool sample during a diarrhoea episode for my GP, and having an ultrasound of my urinary plumbing.
The oncologist was happy for me to resume Sunitinib even while I’m taking antibiotics for the UTI.
Today is day 42.
I see the oncologist again today, having last seen her 6 weeks ago.
I will say that I haven’t felt as well in this two week break as I had hoped. Even today I’ve had nausea and diarrhoea. And I have not recovered from the dry eyes, nose, and mouth I get during treatment.
Maybe the blood taken yesterday will indicate whether there’s a problem.
I wonder at what point I should stop treatment, and just get to feeling well.
Today is day 23 of cycle 5.
For cycle 4, I saw the oncologist only twice: before starting on day 1, and again three weeks in, at day 22.
I had a CT scan and saw the oncologist in August just before starting cycle 5. The scan showed no visible growth in a couple of lymph nodes near the removed kidney, and slight shrinkage of a lymph node in the chest. In other words, all areas of concern were stable or even slightly improved. She was happy enough with my progress, to stretch visits to the full six weeks: I go back just before the next cycle, or earlier if I have a turn for the worse.
The main hassles I have at the moment are a persistent dryness in the eyes, mouth and nose, a mild but frequent gastric upset (not bad enough to be diarrhoea), and general tiredness.
Despite all of that, things seem to be settled down to a state I could live in for a while.
Today is day 28 of cycle 3.
I’ve made it all the way through a cycle without my kidney or liver complaining enough to stop treatment. In addition, I’ve had no elevated temperatures, and my blood pressure is reasonably close to normal (for me).
Although my taste has been affected again, the bigger change to my eating is that I tend to feel a bit queasy at times, reducing the quantity and variety I eat.
I do have irritated bits of skin, not fully sure how much is fungal, and how much is just the drug’s affect on rapidly reproducing cells.
I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks of recovery.
Today is day 7 of cycle 3, running at a reduced dosage of 25 mg – half the dose of cycle 1.
Side-effects appear to be reduced from previous cycles. I don’t feel bad at all.
I have blood taken today so the oncologist can tell me whether my kidney and liver allow me to continue. It would be nice to finish a complete cycle, and even nicer to know it’s having good effect.