(I went ahead and migrated all the old entries over to this new site, for anyone who wants to catch up.)
Dave had his labs and a quick visit with a nurse practitioner on Monday, Dec. 9th. This was our first visit with her and we liked her quite a lot (really, every person we've interacted with at this clinic has been wonderful).
Happily, there's not much to report. She was very excited about the downward trend of his AFP tumor marker test, and all of his other numbers are looking good as well. They talked a bit about managing the side effects from the Stivarga (which are minimal compared to the Nexavar) and Dave feels he has a good strategy for dealing with the nausea and periodic gastrointestinal issues that pop up.
The only hiccup is that he's been sick with an upper respiratory ailment for about a week; she could hear some wheezing when she listened to his lungs, so she prescribed an antibiotic to keep it from turning into pneumonia. Since Dave's immune system is suppressed when he's on the chemo, we don't want to let any infections take hold. We're waiting for the antibiotics to be shipped to us from the VA right now.
He's off the Stivarga this week and starts back on cycle #5 tomorrow. In the meantime, we got his lab results back yesterday and although this round of tests didn't include an AFP test, they did do a liver panel. His AST, which has been as high as 150+, is now 39 ... and that's only 2 points above normal. We always celebrate these little victories!
Next up is another set of labs, including AFP, on December 23rd, and then a regular visit with Dr. Saad on Jan. 6th. It looks like Dave will get another set of scans after his 7th cycle of chemo, probably in February or March.
Happy Holidays everyone!