The Situation, 10/14/15

The Summary.
I haven’t done one of these in a while. I’m tired, so I’m not feeling creative. It’s the colon’s fault.

The Details.
Saw my doctor and my surgeon yesterday. Saw the GI doctor today. That’s a lot of doctors in little days, two trips to Boston in two days, and my colon is waking me up multiple times a night. I need sleep.

We are all in agreement (well, not the surgeon since this is out of his area of expertise, but the rest of us) that the prednisone isn’t cutting it. So I’m going to be switched to the real hard core colitis-busting drug. Don’t ask me to name it, never mind spell it, because I’m too tired.

It has to be administered via IV (yay, more trips to Boston because they won’t do it locally!), but it should take care of the problem. Most likely after only one dose. Three is the most anyone in my situation has needed, and they will schedule me for three doses to be prepared.

It’s super potent so it comes with a lot of potent risks, including TB, lymphoma, and… melanoma. Yeah, we are aware of the irony. I’ve been assured that those risks are very minor in my situation; they tend to only occur after prolonged used of the drug. (Since it’s used to treat Crohn’s disease, for example, most people who need it take it for years, and that’s where the risk comes in.)

The most annoying part here is that the drug is not approved to treat drug-induced colitis, so insurance tends to balk at covering it my situation. However, the research that it works is overwhelming, and the GI said they’ve never had an insurance company refuse in the end. It just makes things take longer. *sigh* So I guess I’ll be forgoing sleep for a while more while his office fights my insurance. Still, fingers crossed this moves more quickly than anticipated and works. Once I start it, I can start being weaned off the prednisone again, and that gets me closer to getting back on the treatment.

On that note, my ear has been hurting again, which is why I saw the surgeon yesterday. According to him and my doc, everything looks healthy, and none of the pre-treatment lumps have reappeared. Surgeon thinks it’s most likely just the nerves acting up again as they heal.

And since I’ve been wondering, and in case you have been to (have you? does anyone read these things?) prednisone doesn’t interfere with the treatment. Obviously, that was a major concern initially, but however it works to suppress the immune system, it doesn’t do it in such a way as to prevent it from continuing to kill the cancer. Apparently, the data on this have been pretty conclusive. Therefore, my doc thinks it’s highly unlikely that my tumors have started regrowing while I’ve been off the treatment. Let us hope.